National Day of Action at REI Stores on July 26

National Day of Action

Students across the country have been demonstrating against REI for the past two months, to no avail. REI has refused to even speak with representatives of United Students Against Sweatshops, despite demonstrations at stores and international outrage over their inaction. This past week, student leaders voted to ramp up the pressure with a National Day of Action, bigger than any USAS has put on before. This escalation comes as letters condemning REI from Bangladeshi unions and labor rights organizations, as well as a letter sent directly to VF Corporation from the NFL Players Association, have fueled intense student mobilization, with dozens of actions planned coast to coast.

After voting to ramp up the national campaign to make REI drop The North Face products, students wrote this response to the so called co-op. The response addresses numerous misconceptions of The North Face/VF Corporation expressed in REI’s last communication to USAS, and offers this message to the company:

“At the end of the day, what matters is not words, but action. That’s why this Saturday, July 26th, USAS will hold its largest National Day of Action yet at REI stores across the country to demand that the company cut ties with North Face sweatshops. Students, consumers, and REI members will be putting more on the line than ever to show that we will not accept REI’s excuses. Each week that REI refuses to take a stand against North Face sweatshops is another week that our movement grows stronger. We hope that REI will make the right decision – both for its public image and for the lives of garment workers – by immediately cutting ties with The North Face.”