Eagle Workers Organize to Keep the Plant Open

Photos - June 2009

Overview of the situation

Eagle Industries is a tactical equipment manufacturer whose New Bedford, MA facility produces the MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment) under a contract with the U.S. Army.

On May 29, Eagle’s parent company ATK, Inc. announced that it plans to close Eagle’s New Bedford plant and eliminate 350 jobs.

Since then, Workers United has been cooperating with Congressman Barney Frank, Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, and local political leaders to prevent ATK from closing the New Bedford plant by asking the US Army to deny the company permission to move the contract out of New Bedford and that the US Army not renew the contract with ATK unless the work will be performed in New Bedford. 

Workers at Eagle are also taking action to save their jobs.  On June 6, over 120 workers attended a mass meeting held in opposition to ATK’s decision to close the New Bedford plant and on June 9 held a rally with community leaders and local politicans to show support for the political efforts underway to keep Eagle in New Bedford. Another workers' meeting was held on June 20. In attendance were city councilors Brian Gomes and Jane Gonsalves, state representative Tony Cabral, representatives from Sen. Kerry's office, and a representative from Rep. Barney Frank's office. SweatFree Communities has assisted Workers United in organizing these events.

On June 8, New Bedford City Council passed a resolution in support of keeping the plant open.

A union organizing campaign has been underway at the factory for the past year.

Read more on our blog...


Resources

In the words of an Eagle worker

Letter from Rep. Frank and Sens. Kerry and Kennedy to the Army

Letter by SweatFree Communities and partners to ATK

Subsidizing Sweatshops I - our investigative research on working conditions at several factories, including Eagle

Subsidizing Sweatshops II - updated research on Eagle, 9 months later, and new cases


Recent media coverage 

Eagle stitchers heading to D.C. to fight for their jobs
Standard Times - June 24, 2009

Fighting for their jobs, Eagle workers and allies rally in New Bedford
Labor is Not a Commodity - June 24, 2009

Workers battling factory closure
Boston Globe - June 21, 2009

New Bedford factory workers rally to save jobs
Associated Press - June 21, 2009

Eagle workers protest plant closure
Standard Times - June 9, 2009

New Bedford factory workers hold rally
NBC 10 - June 9, 2009

Mass. workers rally to save their jobs
Providence Eyewitness news - June 9, 2009

Lawmakers call on Army to examine plant closing
Boston Globe - June 9, 2009

Our view: Their best shot
Standard Times - June 4, 2009

Officials pushing to save Eagle jobs
Standard Times - June 3, 2009

Our view: Closing down so soon
Standard Times - June 1, 2009

Spillane: Hard choices ahead for city's managers and unions
Standard Times - May 31, 2009

Workers angered, distressed over factory closing
Boston Herald - May 30, 2009

Raided Bay State factory will close
Boston Herald - May 29, 2009

Mass. factory in 2007 immigration raid to close
Associated Press - May 29, 2009

New Bedford factory to close
NBC 10 - May 29, 2009