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Anti-Cintas Rally in Blacksburg, VA

Blacksburg, VA April 5, 2005 -- Local groups are protesting Cintas Corporation, a notoriously anti-labor and anti-environment company, that is sponsoring the annual community service day, the Big Event, at Virginia Tech. The rally will take place in front of the Blacksburg Post Office on Main Street on Friday, April 8, 2005 from 5:30-6:30 pm.

Cintas has been repeatedly fined for breaking worker safety laws, is facing NLRB charges for dozens of violations of workers' organizing rights and is being sued for race and sex discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed papers in federal court supporting a class-action discrimination lawsuit against Cintas. The company consistently pays its employees below the living wage, even in violation of living wage laws, where they exist. "Cintas workers could very well find themselves among those who need the help of the Big Event and its community service projects," says Margaret Breslau, owner of the Blacksburg store Homebody, and one of the rally organizers.
Blacksburg, VA April 5, 2005 -- Groups representing labor and progressive employers will be holding a rally to protest Cintas Corporation and its sponsorship of Virginia Tech's "Big Event." The rally will take place in front of the Blacksburg Post Office on Main Street on Friday, April 8, 2005 from 5:30-6:30 pm. Rally organizers want to send a strong message to Cintas, that you cannot be pro-Community and anti-worker.

The Big Event is an annual community service day that sends over one thousand Virginia Tech students out to complete volunteer service projects in neighboring towns and rural areas.

This year, Virginia Tech's Big Event is sponsored by Cintas Corp., a national uniform distribution company. Cintas has been repeatedly fined for breaking worker safety laws, is facing NLRB charges for dozens of violations of workers' organizing rights and is being sued for race and sex discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed papers in federal court supporting a class-action discrimination lawsuit against Cintas. The company consistently pays its employees below the living wage, even in violation of living wage laws, where they exist. "Cintas workers could very well find themselves among those who need the help of the Big Event and its community service projects," says Margaret Breslau, owner of the Blacksburg store Homebody, and one of the rally organizers.

Organizers want a strong show of support for the efforts of two leading labor unions, the Teamsters & UNITE to help Cintas workers exercise their freedom to gain dignity, justice, and fairness in the workplace. The Teamsters have endorsed the rally and are offering material support. This event is organized by Homebody, the sweatshop-free/union-made clothing store located on 119 N. Main St., Blacksburg, VA.