Atlanta—On Saturday, August 12, a crowd of 175 supporters and newsmen gathered at Atlanta’s Piedmont Park to watch 25 Atlanta students and workers take off and burn their Levi pants.
The “burn-in,” sponsored by the Southern Labor Action Movement (SLAM), marked the kickoff of a nation-wide boycott of all Levi Straus products. The boycott is being organized in support of the 400 workers now on strike at Levi Straus’ Blue Ridge, Georgia plant.
The workers have been on strike for over a year to protest unacceptable working conditions which have been allowed to prevail at the plant under Levi Straus’ present contract with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (ILGWU).
The Atlanta activity is the first in a series of “burn-ins” and other types of support demonstrations which will be held all over the country to build support for, and participation in, the boycott.
The boycott, originally handled by the Temporary Levi Boycott Committee, has now been adopted as a SLAM project. It has been endorsed by several student organizations, most notably the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC), and the Fifth Estate.
In conjunction with the boycott there will be a nationwide petition campaign demanding that Levi Straus recognize the rights of the strikers.