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News :: Labor & Class

Reportback on Blacksburg anti-Cintas actions

When Cintas Corp. decided to sponsor Virginia Tech's "Big Event", a community service day for students, they didn't expect to be met by local activists and labor groups using the opportunity to protest Cintas's miserable labor and environmental record. Excerpts from the weekend's actions:

"(Friday) April 8, 2005: Twenty-two activists held a hastily organized rally in downtown Blacksburg to raise awareness of Cintas' anti-equality/anti-worker/anti-environment practices.... Our activities have succeeded in creating a minor controversy around Cintas's involvement in the Big Event...."

"Saturday (April 9, 2005). Five of us met at the university armed with anti-Cintas leaflets that the Teamsters had shipped to us overnight. As we moved through the crowds of students and handed out flyers we told them that although we fully supported the Big Event, we felt they should know that their sponsor is currently being sued by the EEOC for discrimination.... [A]s representatives of Cintas' management were gathering to distribute Big Event t-shirts with the company's logo, it was time to change tactics. We started approaching the Cintas employees, preferably within earshot of the Tech students, with questions such as, 'Can you please tell me more about the EEOC lawsuit against Cintas which cites discrimination against women' or 'Can you comment on the sweatshops that Cintas operates in Honduras?'"



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