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July 17, 2013

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Photo: 'Just Pay It'
The United Students Against Sweatshops created banners to pressure Nike into paying laid-off factory workers.

For Honduras Factory Worker, Payment After Protest

Lowlee Urquia, like most people in her small city in Honduras, had planned to spend Christmas Eve, 2008, with her four children at home. Instead, she had to work, sewing clothes for a factory that supplied Nike and was trying to meet a holiday deadline.

And when she and her 400 co-workers returned to the Vision Tex factory after the New Year, they found it had closed its doors – for good.

The case of Vision Tex and another Nike subcontractor called Hugger eventually became known throughout the U.S. By then, Urquia and more than 1,300 factory workers in Choloma, Honduras, lost their jobs, they had endured years of unfair work conditions and withheld wages and benefits.

"The owners of companies take advantage of workers because the workers don't complain," Urquia says in this conversation with host Dick Gordon. "All the owners care about is getting wealthier."

Urquia tells Dick about the moment part of her wages started missing from her pay checks, and how factory workers eventually organized to get the money they were owed. With the help of a student group in the U.S., the United Students Against Workshops, they were ultimately able to get $1.54 million in worker relief from Nike.

Music

“Build a House and Burn it Down” by The Horse Flies

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