A San Francisco garment factory bowed to grassroots pressure from former workers and agreed Thursday to pay more than $500,000 in severance pay to 140 low-wage workers it laid off.
Between October 2004 and March 2005, the NOVA Knits garment company laid off the workers with only an hour’s notice, which the workers argued violated a federal law that requires employers to give 60 days’ notice of a mass dismissal or plant closure.
NOVA Knits — which produces clothing for the Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and other major labels — agreed to the payment after months of protests from about 14o workers, some of whom had worked for the company for more than 20 years.
“It’s an inspiring example of low-wage workers standing up for their rights,” said Gordon Mar, executive director of the Chinese Progressive Association, which helped the Chinese immigrant workers organize against their former employer.
In a May resolution, San Francisco supervisors urged NOVA to settle the dispute.
by Cicero A. Estrella (SF Gate)