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May 23

Statement by the l’Amour Workers Campaign Committee

Montréal,  Québec, Canada

— We are a group of former workers of the apparel
company, Lamour Inc. We were unceremoniously laid off in 2007. In the
photo illustrating this blog, you can see some of us with our
supporters during an rally we held earlier this year on a freezing cold
winter day. As you can see, we did not let a little icy Montréal
weather get in the way of our search for justice.

Many of us have on average been working for this company for more
than 10 years. Some of us have been there for more than 20 years of
service. During this time, Lamour Inc. has become a very profitable
company for its owners. It goes without saying, that it was principally
our years of hard work that produced for this company. Lamour Inc.
boasts that it is a leading company in the apparel industry and has
operations in places like China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India with
over 2500 workers worldwide.

A long-time partner of the U.S owned retail giant Walmart, it
recently broke into the U.S. market in July, 2007 by taking over,
Terramar Sports, a company based in Tarrytown, New York. Despite this,
many of us suffered horrible working conditions over the years. One
example of this was being locked in during the night shift. Under these
conditions, we were always in danger of being trapped and burned alive
in the case of an industrial fire.

For those of us doing piece work we were not paid when our machines
broke down and we could not produce our quota. Even then, we could not
go home because the doors were locked. Some of us were forced to have
our meals at our stations while we continued to work, which meant that
we virtually had no breaks.

As if this was not bad enough, we felt deceived when a union was set
up in 2004 that we believe to be a “pro-management” union to prevent us
from organizing ourselves into a genuine and militant workers’ union
that would have fought for our rights, our jobs and our dignities.
After years of collecting our union dues, we feel this union has not
produced positive results for the workers’ conditions, welfare and job
security. On February 21, 2007 we will be holding a demonstration
outside the office of the Commission des normes du travail (CNT) to
expose this situation.

We wish to expose Lamour Inc. as leading nothing in this industry
but the art of exploiting workers. Our demands are simple. We want to
be compensated fairly for the years of loyalty we’ve shown this
company. Most of all, we want our dignity back and call for justice for
the dismissed Lamour workers!

– Centre des Travailleurs et Travailleuses Immigrants – The Immigrant Workers Centre (CTI-IWC)

Centre d’appui aux Philippines – Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC)

PINAY – Filipino Women’s Organization of Quebec

Solidarity Across Borders

No One Is Illegal

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