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    Vol. 68/No. 17           May 4, 2004 
Garment workers at Point Blank in Florida
win union recognition and first contract

OAKLAND PARK, Florida—Workers signed their first contract April 19 at Point Blank Body Armor in Oakland Park, Florida, north of Miami, winning union recognition for the UNITE union after a fight lasting more than two years. The contract takes effect April 24.

Some 175 garment workers struck the plant for six months in 2002 and 2003, demanding union recognition and improved working conditions. In February 2003 the National Labor Relations Board ordered the company to take back the strikers and reinstate three workers it had fired in an attempt to intimidate workers pushing for union representation. Back at work after that victory, unionists continued to demonstrate their strength by holding meetings in front of the plant, organizing red UNITE T-shirt days, and giving support to other workers in struggle.

Milagros Santos, a union activist and sewing machine operator who was part of the strike, said, “This is a big step forward. And we know we will be more prepared to win even more in the future.”

More detailed coverage on this victory will appear in next week’s Militant.

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