UNITE’S NEW GAP TACTIC: UNITE’s ongoing battle with Gap Inc. isn’t taking a respite for the holidays. The union said Wednesday it plans to hang a three-story banner outside the windows of its Times Square offices featuring a picture of a pair of Gap boot-cut jeans. Attached is a hang tag that reads, “Made in a Sweatshop.” Below the image, there is a message telling consumers: “Don’t buy Gap this holiday season.” It will be placed at 1710 Broadway in the next few days and remain through the holiday season.
At a press conference at the Warwick Hotel, UNITE said it has also advertised in college newspapers in recent weeks in association with United Students Against Sweatshops. An e-mail campaign, which UNITE said is intended to reach 2 million people, will accompany the anti-Gap action. The e-mail plays a short video that automatically links to a Web site where recipients can send a message to Gap chairman Donald Fisher, president and ceo Paul Pressler and vice chairman John Lillie.
A GAP spokeswoman said: “We understand and share the concerns voiced by UNITE. We have a code of vendor conduct which focuses on compliance with local labor laws, working conditions and environment and we expect the factories with whom we do business to meet these standards. To enforce this code, we have a comprehensive Global Compliance program including 90 full-time employees dedicated to working with current and potential factory vendors around the world.”
DESTINY PREVAILS: The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division has knocked down an appeal by three department stores trying to preserve their tenant rights in what is planned to be the largest retail and entertainment center in the country. The court ruled that Kaufmann’s, Lord & Taylor and J.C. Penney anchor stores at the Carousel Center Mall in Syracuse must turn over particular lease rights to the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency because the agency had the power of eminent domain. In the decision, the stores explained their concern regarding their “presence” during and after the construction of the megamall, which the leases secured. DestiNY USA is expected to include, among the hundreds of retail and dining experiences, a 65-acre, glass-enclosed park with nature trails and botanical gardens, a golf course, a 15,000-seat arena and the world’s largest salt-water aquarium. Construction has begun for the $160 million Grand Destiny Hotel near the entertainment complex.