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Levis Now Pro Actively Anti Gun

Discussion in 'Activism' started by ChanceMcCall, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. ChanceMcCall

    ChanceMcCall Member

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    After reading this please see my response below

    In November 2016, I wrote an open letter requesting that gun owners not bring firearms into our stores, offices, or facilities, even in states where it’s permitted by law. This was following an incident in one of our stores in which a customer accidentally shot and injured himself while trying on a pair of jeans. While that was bad, it could have been worse: The bullet could have killed him, another customer, or one of our employees.

    In the days after I published that letter, I received threats to our stores, our business, and even on my life. It was unsettling. But these personal attacks pale in comparison to the threats that activists and survivors from Parkland, Sandy Hook, and daily incidents of gun violence face every time they speak up on this issue.

    As president and CEO of a values-driven company that’s known the world over as a pioneer of the American West and one of the great symbols of American freedom, I take the responsibility of speaking up on the important issues of our day very seriously. We can’t take on every issue. But as business leaders with power in the public and political arenas, we simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to the issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work. While taking a stand can be unpopular with some, doing nothing is no longer an option.

    That’s why Levi Strauss & Co. is stepping up our support for gun violence prevention. You may wonder why a company that doesn’t manufacture or sell guns is wading into this issue, but for us, it’s simple. Americans shouldn’t have to live in fear of gun violence. It’s an issue that affects all of us—all generations and all walks of life.

    The stakes could not be higher. On an average day, 96 Americans are killed by guns, and hundreds more are wounded. Most are suicides or unintentional shootings. Our nation’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average rate of other high-income countries. Some shootings make the headlines; some you never hear of; but each one is a tragedy.

    Second, I’m proud to announce that Levi Strauss & Co. is partnering with Everytown for Gun Safety and executives including Michael Bloomberg to form Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety, a coalition of business leaders who believe, as we do, that business has a critical role to play in and a moral obligation to do something about the gun violence epidemic in this country. I encourage every CEO and business leader reading this to consider the impact we could make if we stood together alongside the broad coalition of concerned parents, youth, elders, veterans, and community and faith leaders who are committed to shaping a safer path forward.

    Third, we know that some of our employees have been personally affected by this issue and want to see change. Therefore, we are doubling our usual employee donation match to organizations aligned with our Safer Tomorrow Fund. In addition, we’re encouraging employees who are concerned about gun violence to get involved. Levi Strauss & Co. provides employees five hours a month (60 hours a year) in paid volunteer time and we recently expanded this to include political activism. We’re encouraging our employees to use their time to make an impact.

    So today, on top of our previous actions, Levi Strauss & Co. is lending its support for gun violence prevention in three new areas.

    First, we have established the Safer Tomorrow Fund, which will direct more than $1 million in philanthropic grants from Levi Strauss & Co. over the next four years to fuel the work of nonprofits and youth activists who are working to end gun violence in America.

    I know that Americans, including many of our own consumers, employees, and other partners, hold a wide spectrum of views related to guns. I’m not here to suggest we repeal the Second Amendment or to suggest that gun owners aren’t responsible. In fact, as a former U.S. Army officer, I took a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. But as retired four-star general Michael Hayden once said, “There are some weapons out there that frankly nobody should have access to. And actually, there are some people out there who should never have access to any weapons.”

    We can’t insulate ourselves from every threat. We can’t “harden” every place we gather—whether it be our schools, workplaces, shops, churches, or entertainment venues. But we can take common-sense, measurable steps—like criminal background checks on all gun sales—that will save lives.

    After the Parkland tragedy, support for stronger gun laws reached 68%—the highest level in 25 years. And support is being sustained by the powerful movement led by youth from Parkland, Chicago, Oakland, Baltimore, and other cities across the nation.

    As a company, we have never been afraid to take an unpopular stand to support a greater good. We integrated our factories in the American South years before the Civil Rights Act was passed. We offered benefits to same-sex partners in the 1990s, long before most companies did. We pulled our financial support for the Boy Scouts of America when it banned gay troop leaders.

    While each one of these stands may have been controversial at the time, history proved the company right in the long run. And I’m convinced that while some will disagree with our stand to end gun violence, history will prove this position right too.

    Our country has faced seemingly intractable issues like this before, but together we’ve overcome them. We can do it again. Together we can put an end to the gun violence epidemic in America.

    Chip Bergh is the president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. and serves on the company’s board of directors.

    via email:

    Dear Mr. Bergh:

    First permit me to inform you that I have worn Levi products (including Docker products) for many years. With no intent to threaten, I am informing you that no one in our family will purchase any of your products in the future and that we are inventorying all of your products that we currently own and paying out $5.00 per product currently owned to the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action as a way of helping to mitigate your actions.

    My reasons are simple. I do not believe in any form of gun control, nor do I believe that any gun control will solve the problems you outlined. In fact, I consider it un American to support any form of gun control. While I do not object to you personally having an opposing view, I strongly object to a business taking a position on any political issue that does not directly impact their business for a number of reasons.

    As a result we have issued a directive to our 60+ employees that they may not wear Levi/Docker products to work or at any work related functions. (see attached company memo) If they do, they will be fined $5.00 per occurrence with the fines going to the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. Further, our employees will be actively encouraged to buy other brands of products that compete with yours via company issued rebates on such products they purchase for themselves and their families. They will also be encouraged to inform our suppliers and others we do business with that our company does not support your actions.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. George P

    George P Member

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    Levis has been this way for decades; it is now just more fashionable to be public about it
     
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  3. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    Fashionable? I call it more towards bona-fide push back, coupled with a rally towards current political fields that allegedly support2A. Years of pent up frustrations being vented upon those vocal businesses, that otherwise perhaps would not have been beneficial just a few years ago. Please remember, the tipping point here and other businesses i.e. Dicks, was their stout statements they were actively supplying $$$ to anti-2A causes.

    Sooner or later people get fed up with activism coming off the assembly line bundled as products placed on shelves. In this case Levi might even be a bit perplexed as its just the logical furtherance of their long held position, but I'll leave that to Levi.
     
  4. George P

    George P Member

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    But you forget who the target demographics are for companies like Levis and Dicks - it is NOT gun owners; it is the soccer moms and similar folks who might be on the fence. With the current hoopla in the media, they come off as being "part of the solution" (whatever that means) to gun violence. They will more likely see increases in sales from new customers to offset those of us who protest them by not buying their cheaply-made, over-priced, imported stuff.
     
  5. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    It hasn't worked out that way for Dicks. The group who feels alienated or ostracized by a move like that is far more outspoken and determined than the "good for you" crowd, and I'd also wager that the extreme majority of those "soccer moms" don't much care about the corporate gransdstanding. Furthermore, soccer mom's husband may well be the hunter, clays shooter or simply moderate enthusiast who caught wind of it in an email, gun rag, on facebook or on a bulletin board and not only decides he'll go elsewhere, but tells mom he doesn't want her shopping there, either.

    It's a lot harder to earn customer loyalty than it is to destroy it. Playing politics with a company is stupid, deserving of the fiscal punishment that is often handed down.
     
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    And we need to keep telling the corporate leaders this, but we also need to make sure that we get influence within stockholder groups of publicly traded companies to make such management decisions uncomfortable for them. Levi Strauss & Co. is privately held and owned by the descendants of Levi Strauss and the only way we could change this current move is if a family member were to speak out against it and move to replace the person responsible.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  7. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

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    Thanks for letting us know. Along with Dick's and Nike, Levi is now another company whose products I will neither buy not use any longer.

    I am curious about the "threats" that he received as these liberal snowflakes love to label anything that they do not like as "threats". If he actually received threats to his life, then the perpetrators should have been arrested for making terroristic threats. My gut tells me that he is loosely using the term "threats" to create a false image of gun owners being unruly criminals.

    It is ridiculous that companies feel that they cannot simply make and sell products, but must be politically active.
     
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  8. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    If I owned stock in Levis I would be dumping it. A company that take sides on a divisive issue unrelated to the products they make is very poorly managed.
     
  9. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Why is it that the big names (premium brands) are the only ones doing this? In this case it’s Levis but you don’t hear of faded glory pulling this crap. I know there are other instances where similar dumdum moments have happened but I’m hot and sweaty from hand digging a trench in my yard (to get water over a rise and away from my house foundation). Yeti pulled a small scale move, but you don’t hear squat from Ozark Trail.
     
  10. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Since they are closing all of their US manufacturing to go exploit cheap foreign labor (to better enrich themselves) I find their blatherings more than moot.

    If they were sewing their product in Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, or Chicago, their opinions on urban violence might be worth consideration.

    If they wish to alienate the 50% of the US population which does not live i nthe 30 most populous US counties, they can do so.

    They split that blanket with me decades ago.
     
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  11. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    Haven't bought or worn Levis in decades. They came out as anti-2A back in the eighties or nineties.
     
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  12. stevek

    stevek Member

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    Haven't bought Levis or Dockers for years due to their anti 2A stance. Any company that we find to be the same, is also written off as far as we're concerned.
     
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  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    What they foolishly don’t realize is that there are millions of soccer moms that are not anti gun.

    If I sold jeans I would target 100% of people that wear jeans vs 50% and actively try and PO the other 50%.

    As others have stated, they already let us know their position in the past..
     
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  14. bds

    bds Member

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    And many soccer moms are quite self reliant, motivated and make consumer purchase/financial decisions for their families. Oh, and many are gun owners and supporters of 2A.

    My sister is such and have 2 teenagers, own her insurance agency with 1400+ clients, makes all consumer purchase decisions (My BIL happpily allows her) and competes in NRA matches. Her children grew up shooting with their parents and their friends. She has weekly luncheon with her friends and they make conservative pro-2A decisions and will boycott any company that is anti-2A.

    Levis has been dead to our families for a long time.
     
  15. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    I’ve worn Carhartt jeans for years, that said last week I decided to try something new, where I was shopping the inventory was 50%ish Levi’s, which I wore a lot as a kid, teenager, and into my early 20’s. I remembered that as I shopped, then I remembered some of their past anti-gun propaganda. Had it not been for that I would have left with 2 pair of Levi’s, instead I left with a pair of Wrangler’s and a pair of Dickies.

    This is nothing new from them, and I seriously doubt enough people care to matter, but they’ve lost my business.

    Thanks for posting this, if they’re going to double down, I will to. I’ll make sure my family and pro second amendment coworkers know about their hatred of our freedom and our lifestyle.
     
  16. beeenbag
    • Contributing Member

    beeenbag Contributing Member

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    No Levi anything here. Just bought 2 pair of wranglers yesterday. I always found Levi’s a bit unforgiving in the nether region anyways.
     
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  17. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Now? They have been anti-freedom for decades, and I haven't owned anything made by them since High School.
     
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  18. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Forbidding your employees to wear Levi’s products? If there were a textbook case of cutting off your nose to spite your face, that would have to be it.
     
  19. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Haven't purchased a pair of Levi brand jeans in over 30 years, I prefer the Wrangler brand, especially way back when I heard that Levi was anti-gun, don't miss them either, especially if they are sending there manufacturing over seas.
     
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