Washington State Labor Council Calls on REI to Cut Ties with North Face

Big news from the Evergreen State: The Washington State Labor Council, the largest labor organization in the state, representing 600 local unions and approximately 400,000 rank-and-file union members, just passed a resolution at its annual convention calling on REI to cut ties with The North Face/VF. Here’s an excerpt from their resolution:

“WHEREAS, one of the largest apparel brands in the collegiate and U.S. markets, VF Corporation, which owns such subsidiaries such as The North Face, JanSport, Lee Jeans, Nautica, Timberland, Vans and Wrangler, has persistently refused to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, leading United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) to launch a campaign against VF Corporation and its subsidiaries; and

WHEREAS, over a dozen U.S. colleges and universities have severed their business relationships with the VF Corporation, until this company becomes a signatory to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, including Washington State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pennsylvania State University, NYU, Arizona State University and others; and

WHEREAS, United Students Against Sweatshops is now calling upon U.S. retailers who sell North Face/VF products to discontinue their business relationship with this company until VF Corporation becomes a signatory to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh; now, therefore, be it

[Be it] RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, calls on Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) and its cooperative members, to stop ordering and selling North Face and other VF products until the VF Corporation signs the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh; and be it further”

This new support comes on the heels of 21 student arrests at REI’s store in Rockville, MD. Our movement is growing stronger by the week; we’re excited to have the full support of the Washington State labor movement to call on REI, a Washington-based retailer, to end its strident refusal to cut ties with The North Face.