The Missouri Prisoners Labor union (MPLU) is a 500 member organization which was created by Prisoners and supporters. It was legally chartered by the State of Missouri on August 3, 1998. It is our desire to better the living and working conditions of Missouri Prisoners in particular and two million United States Prisoners in general. We provide Prisoners a much needed political forum from which to promote the principles of social justice, economic and political issues confronting Missouri Prisoners and workers. Our commitment to non-violence has been demonstrated continuously. One of the linchpin principles of the MPLU is that there is nothing more powerful then a worker with arms folded refusing to pick up tools or perform any labor.
Since our inception, members have been subjected to all forms of abuse and harassment propagated by the Missouri Department of Corrections. On February 17, 2000 President White-Bey was finally released from Administrative Segregation (the hole) after being confined there for almost two years. His offense was simply to advocate that as workers we have the right to organize and the Human and Civil Rights of Prisoners must be respected . Presently several of our members still remain in the hole and are subjected to daily abuse. But the Union rolls on!
As part of our efforts we sent a letter on June 4, 2000 to Colgate Palmolive through its representative Bill F. Shanahan. In that communication we requested a letter of endorsement in support of our organization and/or aims and objectives which are summarized as follows:
The establishment of minimum wage pay for all Missouri Prisoners.
Abolishing all forced labor and abuse perpetrated by the Missouri Department of Corrections in particular and the State Government in general.
Colgate Palmolive’s active involvement in persuading the State of Missouri Legislature to impose a Bill of Moratorium on all executions of Prisoners in the State of Missouri.
In response to Colgate Palmolive’s failure to grant our reasonable request we are now forced to initiate a non-violent consumer boycott of all products produced by Colgate Palmolive either directly or indirectly
We realize that Colgate Palmolive didn’t put us in prison. This is a matter of Colgate Palmolive reaping immense profits from our incarceration and as the largest single consumer block it does have a social obligation to us. The is the same type of argument organized labor has used to oppose sweat shop labor employed by Kathy Lee Gifford, Nike, etc. We are not asking for anything from society except that we be treated in a fair manner as defined by the United States Constitution and numerous legal cases. We are not advocating for a cushy life style but simply a fair days pay for a fair days work and a safe, non-abusive work environment.”
We ask that all Prisoners and their family/friends, MPLU members and our supporters to non-violently decline purchasing Colgate Palmolive products. In support of our efforts we have requested that all members of organized labor, peace and social justice activists and the NAACP to also participate and make their views know publically
Please express your support of this campaign by completing the coupon below and returning it to the National Communications Office. We also encourage your active involvement by
Copying the above graphic on to label paper and visiting your local retailer which is marketing Colgate Palmolive products.
Sending a letter expressing your support of the MPLU to:
Colgate Palmolive Company
Attn: Bill F. Shanahan
300 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Making a small donation either in cash or first class postage stamps. Please send all donations to
P.O. Box 3055 Rohnert Park, CA 94927