The end of the Wrangler Protests

We (Rachel and I) have decided that we’re going to end the protests at the Wrangler plant in Seminole. It wasn’t an easy decision but the situation has changed a lot since we started and it feels like now is a good time to end. We did do our best these last 12 weeks or so and I guess that’s all you can say at the end of the day.

The latest news…

The last few days I’ve been mostly off-line as I’ve been sick with one of my occasional bouts of bronchitis that hit me every once in awhile. The illness itself was no fun but the time off was actually rather nice. I rented a few movies (one was a new one I hadn’t seen before: K-Pax. I really liked it.), read a little and slept as much as I could. It was mostly nice though just to be home and to not have to go anywhere.Today though I’m back at school (or at least for my afternoon classes). Finals are fast approaching and I guess I need to start cranking on those outlines in the next week or two. (BTW, if any of my classmates are reading this and would like to share your outlines with the world I would love to post them on our class website at Send them my way and I’ll get them posted.)

Besides school everything else is ok. The protests that Rachel & I have been doing at the Wrangler plant are sort of in limbo right now. We’re debating on whether we will continue to protest this month or not. It seems like for a lot of folks there that they are so beat down by the relentless injustice of the situation that there is no fight left in them. I guess I don’t blame them, but especially when we have heard reports that workers are being threatened with losing their severance packages for even talking to us. — I guess more than anything we don’t want to make a bad situation worse. It’s hard to know what is right to do, but I do know this that we have tried our best.

I only wish the VF Corporation (Wrangler’s Parent Corporation) had tried a little harder to treat their employees right. There’s going to be 600 folks without jobs in a few weeks (right before Christmas if you can believe that).

BTW, if any of my readers would like to express their feelings to the VF Corporation here is their contact information (I would encourage y’all to be polite when speaking to them. This might be a bad company but the employees who are answering the phones aren’t the ones to blame):

  • Email: – Cindy Knoebel – VP, Financial and Corporate – Susan Hendrickson, Manager, Corporate Communications
  • Phone: 1-888-784-8571 (Toll-free)
  • Fax: 336.424.7631
  • Smail: VF Corporation, PO Box 21488, Greensboro, NC 27420-1488

Re: the Fox 25 story on the Seminole situation

Here is an update on my earlier post regarding the interview that Fox 25 did with Rachel and I regarding the situation in Seminole with the Wrangler plant closing…For any of you who caught Fox 25 news last night, let me just say that story was a prime example of all that is wrong with journalism. Factual errors (i.e. I’m not a Seminole resident) are bad, but the big problem is that the real story (the tax dollars that were spent to keep Wrangler in Seminole did no good as Wrangler is leaving anyway) was turned into a nice fluff-PR piece for the city of Seminole. Certainly some good may come out of this for SOME folks and likely some new jobs will come in, but come on folks, the odds that there will be enough new jobs to replace those lost is small, and the odds that these jobs will give the workers the same sense of pride and accomplishment is even smaller (I’m sorry but it’s hard to go from manufacturing quality blue jeans to telemarketing).

I had fairly low expectations going into this but frankly Fox 25 didn’t even pull that off. The plant closing is not good news for the 600+ workers who are being laid off in November in Seminole & the 300 who are being laid off in Ada. It is also not good news for the city of Seminole. I appreciate the fact that the city leaders are trying to keep a positive face in the light of terrible looming adversity but it is frankly an insult to the soon to be laid off workers to minimize their plight.

Drama out the wazoo

  • First, the Fox 25 story on the situation in Seminole will run TONIGHT on the 9 p.m. newscast. I heard this for sure from the reporter who did the story.
  • Today is my one year anniversary of preaching at the congregation I am at now. Kinda a bittersweet anniversary since I’ll soon be gone.
  • FIF was great last night. I’ll post pics of it later but it was nice to see them one more time. It was weird though seeing them older…. or should I say that I see my own aging through them. (probably that and feeling very old at a concert of mostly high school and young college students)
  • Seminole Protest news, press coverage

    Here’s what I posted to the OKGreens list about what is going on…

      Seminole Protest Cancelled – Friday, Oct. 17th ONLYJust wanted to let y’all know that Rachel and I are taking tomorrow
      off from the weekly protest schedule at the Wrangler plant in
      Seminole. We hate to take off but we gotta long ways to go until the
      plant closing in November and since this is fall break @ Seminole
      State this looks like as a good time as any for a break.

      We will back next Friday at the usual time (2:30-4:30 p.m.).

      Also on another note, watch Fox 25 in OKC for their 9 pm newscast on
      Friday as they may be running a story about the situation in
      Seminole (at least that is the latest we’ve heard from them). Rachel
      and I were both interviewed earlier in the week but the story was
      held until now because of the baseball playoffs.

    Watch Fox 25 tonight

    One thing I forgot to mention is that Rachel and I were interviewed last Friday about the protests in Seminole by Fox 25 (OKC). They weren’t sure if/when the story would run but we think if it does run it might run tonight (they interviewed us in the evening and they wanted to get a response from Wrangler, so I would imagine they would try to visit with the spokesman from the VF Corp [parent company of Wrangler] today during biz hours.

    The momentum is building in Seminole

    (Edited 10-10-03 @ 10:58 a.m.)Here is the latest announcement/essay on what we are doing with the protests at the Wrangler plant in Seminole. It was first posted at OK-IMC.

      This was originally posted to the OKGreens discussion list and was written for members of the Oklahoma Green Party, however for clarification, this protest is not an official Green party event or a partisan event at all. All are welcome no matter what their political persuasion.EVENT: Protest at Wrangler Plant (on SH9, aka “Wrangler Blvd”) in Seminole, OK
      TIME: 5-7 p.m.
      DATE: Friday, October 10, 2003
      CONTACTS: Rachel at
      James at, (405)476-5620.)


      We need your presence in Seminole, at the Wrangler Protest this Friday, October 10th, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., in front of the Wrangler plant on SH 9, also marked as Wrangler Boulevard.

      As a result of the actions of Wrangler and the Vanity Fair corporation, rural Oklahomans lose autonomy, and rural Oklahoma suffers the loss of local culture . What we do not hesitate to greive for in third world countries is happening here. Several plants have been closed throughout the state over the past year and a half, in such towns as Okemah, Coalgate, and Prague. Workers who have given their lives to the productivity of the company are being treated as unimportant and powerless. And, as the plants close, the towns collapse. Poverty increases, crime increases, and a well-established and once vital community disappears, as workers migrate to metropolitan areas in search of jobs.

      Though people rarely stop to consider it (due to the abundance of negative stereotypes associated with folks in rural areas), the culture of rural Oklahoma is more innately aligned to Green values than suburban culture – and it is also more threatened, as the very concept of the smalltown and local government is dying. The Wrangler protests call attention to this – in addition to tying the experience of Oklahoma workers to those workers in other countries who will take their place. Both indirectly and directly, these issues will affect us all eventually; they prove the undeniable connection between ourselves and the workers being most immediately affected. We should demonstrate this solidarity in the face of this unfairness, as solidarity helps to change unfairness. We need to bear witness together to that which is wrong.

      We have organized this Friday’s protest in conjunction with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which is a logical relationship for Greens to nurture. They have consistently numbered around 15 – 20 people, whereas the Greens have consistently numbered around 2 – 4. We would appreciate the presence of any and all Greens in order that we might show support for the cause of the workers, and for Oklahoma. If our numbers are big enough, the media guarantees they will respond.

      Please bring your signs and yourself to Seminole this Friday. You will be astonished by the positive response from the community. Folks who might disagree with us on other issues not only understand our stance – they agree with it. It makes you realize how great it would be if we all just raised our voices. We would appreciate it if you could help us set an example.

      If you have any questions, please e-mail me. Let’s be about it.

      Rachel Jackson
      Co-Chair, Green Party of Oklahoma

    BTW, if you haven’t seen these pictures from 2 weeks ago be sure and check them out. It is so good to see citizens standing up for their own communities. If only more of us would wake up and realize we that we don’t have to be silent when we are being pushed around.