Ex-Russell Workers Go on Tour

After their factory, Jerzees de Honduras, was shutdown for being unionized, two former Russell employees: Moises Elias Montoya Alvarado and Norma Estela Mejia Castellanos, have been touring the country’s universities trying to spread the word about their plight and the injustices Russell has perpetrated in Honduras. The two have visited Purdue, Minnesota, Penn State, Georgetown, and Wisconsin, a few of the universities that have contracts with Russell.

“How are they getting around to all of these places?”

At a the stop at Wisconsin, the two said that the sale price of one Russell-made sweatshirt represented their monthly salary. That obviously isn’t enough money for them to travel, or provide for their families, for that matter. The Penn State visit was sponsored by USAS, but the various newspaper articles about the other visits had no information about how they were accomplished. That is besides the point however. It is the duo’s message that is more important.

“We have been campaigning for a year and a half to end the abuses in our factory and ensure that we are treated with dignity and respect,” said Montoya Alvarado.

Since visiting Penn State, the University has placed Russell on probation. Comparatively, Georgetown has cut its contract with the company. Other universities have done much more to show that they care about the plight of workers like Montoya Alverado and Mejia Castellanos; Penn State should too.

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Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.

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