American Eagle Outfitters is a giant of the fast fashion industry in the United States.
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, a city with one of the richest histories of unions in the country, would make you think they would understand how to respect worker’s rights.
The experience of workers at one of their Indian suppliers, Richa Garment, tells a different story.
Facing grueling working conditions, low pay, and lack of respect from their managers, these workers came together and exercised their right to form a union, the Richa Garment Workers Union. Jobs With Justice and Pittsburgh United, working with the union, made sure American Eagle knew the union was forming and put them on notice that they had to ensure Richa respected these workers’ rights. American Eagle told us that they would make sure Richa followed not only international and Indian labor law but the company’s own Corporate Social Responsibility standards.
In March, Richa fired seven workers, including two officers of the Richa Garment Workers Union. Since then, American Eagle has said they don’t have any power of Richa to ensure these workers are hired back, with pay. In the world of fast fashion, American Eagle is saying they don’t have time for worker’s rights.
Join us in demanding American Eagle do its duty and work with Richa to do three things:
- The workers are immediately rehired with back pay
- American Eagle and Richa immediately set up regular meetings with the union
- American Eagle and Richa put out public statements that freedom of association will be respected.
These workers are responsible for American Eagle’s profit. Without them, fast fashion would not exist. American Eagle must do the right thing and ensure these workers’ rights are respected and Richa begins to meet with the union.
“The management has circulated the names of these workers across the companies of Gurgaon to blacklist them and make sure that no other company gives them work. Having to pay the rent, school fees, and other household expenses, the workers have been pushed to the brink of desperation. Being the breadwinners of their families, they are going into debt just to keep the roof over their heads and their children in schools. We demand that American Eagle protect the fundamental rights of these workers’ who have been making the very clothes from which American Eagle profits.” –Amarnath Sharma, General Secretary of Garment and Allied Workers Union says:
Stand with Richa Workers and Take Action TODAY:
You can show your solidarity with Richa workers by delivering the following letter to your local American Eagle or Aerie store. Show that you showed up for these workers by posting a picture of the delivery using the hashtag