Update on Wrangler Protests

    Lots of news to report on this. You can read the full story at OKIMC: Weekly Protests To Take Place At Seminole’s Wrangler Plant, but to make a long story short the protest went very well. From what my friend Rachel reports, the response was almost unanimously positive from both workers and those passing by. They did not have any problems from the police or security (other than someone from Wrangler telling them that they weren’t allowed to protest on the highway right-of-way adjacent to the plant… so they just moved the protest to the median of the road instead.)

    There was also a good bit of press attention. KOMA (1520 AM, the new news-talk station in OKC) interviewed Rachel in two seperate segments for their rushhour local news program and the evening edition of the Seminole newspaper had a front picture of the protest.

    I plan to be there next Friday and hope that all of my Okie readers will join me. It’s not right for Wrangler to devastate a small town like this. Over 600 jobs will be lost in a community of about 6,000, which translates to I would figure 1500-2000 family members being in a bad spot due to the loss of one (or both) of the breadwinners. Wrangler might fly a giant American flag on their building and use patriotic images in their commercials and rodeo promotions but they are actually just one part of an evil corporate entity called VFC (Vanity Fair Corporation).

    This is a free-market country which means we the people can’t stop VFC from destroying a community like this but we sure can let them know that we won’t patronize them anymore. We won’t buy their clothes and we sure won’t believe the lies of their commercials and promotions. It’s high time that Oklahomans (and all Americans for that matter) speak out for the little guy.

    So far the best thing they’ve come up with in the community to replace these lost jobs is to try to get Pre-paid Legal Services to set up a call center in Seminole. I guess any job is better than nothing, but this is really adding insult to injury. Many of the Wrangler employees were skilled workers who made quality products. The pay wasn’t that great but at least they had the dignity of making a good product… but now, the best idea out there is to place their skilled positions with TELEMARKETING! ARGHH!!!! This has to be a joke but sadly it isn’t.

    So it’s time that we do something. Protesting might be an exercise in fuitility but maybe it can be the first step to bringing about some economic social justice to this state. We need some mercy in the cruel dog-eat-dog world of the free market. It’s time to expect more of big companies than just good profit margins. They need to show some loyalty to the communities who provide the workers who sacrifice for their behalf. Companies that treat their workers like crap deserve to be scorned. If we the consumers quit doing business with companies like VFC, then maybe they would learn to treat folks better. (either that or they’ll go bankrupt)