United Students Against Sweatshops Organizes Protest Against REI

The protesters were holding a national day of action in protest against the retailer's refusal to sever ties with The North Face.

STUDENTS PROTEST: Students and community members held protests Saturday at over 30 REI locations across the country, which led to the arrest of 20 activists at a Rockville, Md., store for nonviolent, peaceful protest.

The protesters, organized by the United Students Against Sweatshops, were holding a national day of action in protest against REI's refusal to sever ties with The North Face. The protesters are upset that the apparel brand's parent, VF Corp., has not signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

The accord is a binding contract between apparel brands and garment union workers. It has been signed by over 175 brands and retailers from 20 countries, including Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Abercrombie & Fitch. The accord is geared towards helping to prevent another mass factory fatality disaster in the Bangladesh garment industry.

Executives at REI could not be reached for comment.

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