Statement by the Lamour Workers Campaign Committee
February 14, 2008

We are a group of former workers of the apparel company, Lamour Inc, in Montreal, Quebec. We were unceremoniously laid off in 2007. 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 profits 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 retail giant Walmart, it recently broke into the US market in July, 2007 by taking over Terramar Sports, a company based in Tarrytown, New York, USA.

Despite this, many of us suffered horrible working conditions over the years. One example of this was that the front doors were locked and chained during the night shift. Under these conditions, we were always in danger of being trapped as escape routes were limited 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 felt that we could not go home because the front 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, 2008 we will be holding a demonstration outside the office of the Commission des normes du travail (CNT) in Montreal to expose this situation. We wish to expose Lamour Inc. as leading the industry in 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!

On Thursday, February 21, 2008 at noon support us by joining our demonstration in front of the CNT Montreal office on 500, boulevard Rene-Levesque West. We will be asking out loud, “Hey Lamour, where is the love in this Valentine's season?”

With the support of:
*Centre des travailleurs et travailleuses immigrants / Immigrant Workers Centre
*Centre d'appui aux Philippines / Centre for Philippine Concerns
*PINAY - Filipino Women's Organization of Quebec

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