Guitar Workers + Musicians United!

Posts Tagged ‘ibanez’

Raining support at Fuji Rock Fest

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 4:07 am

Fuji Rock supporters of Cort Action

Did the thugs that beat the workers at the sit-in site stop them? NO –

Did the winter winds that blew up high on the electricity tower where the workers did a hunger strike for 30 days  stop them?  NO –

Did a libelious, false charge against the workers by conservative Dong-a Newspaper stop them? NO – and the courts ruled that Donga News had falsely reported that the union had caused Cort to shut down. Incredible – since their website and industry show appearances show that Cort is clearly speeding on in production in Indonesia and Japan.

So … did the constant rain at Fuji Rock stop the Cort and Cor-tek guitar workers and the cultural workers who came with them from talking to the Fuji Rock attendees?

And did the rain stop Fuji Rock attendees from supporting the Cort workers?

NO and NO. As you can see from the pictures above, the workers and the Fuji Rock attendees were able to talk across language barriers and share the situation of Cort, Fender and Ibanez…

With support from One Day as a Lion (including Zack de la Rocha) and Ozomatli, this Fuji Rock 2010 carried not only the sounds of the musicians, but the voices of the workers who have been making the music possible through their labor —

A Fuji Rock fan writing a solidarity message

Cort guitar workers from Korea with Fuji Rock supporters

A Japanese cultural activist talking about the Cort worker campaign with Fuji Rock attendees

We will post video and photos of the Cort workers speaking during One Day as a Lion and Ozomatli’s performances soon! Stay tuned!


@ Fuji Rock Festival – living like lions

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 7:15 pm

photo credit: Village Voice/ Rebecca Sweyne

For those of you following Cort Action on Facebook, you may have already known, but the Cort and Cor-tek guitar workers are at NGO Village at Fuji Rock Festival.

Fuji Rock Festival, which takes place in Nigata, Japan, is the largest rock festival in Asia, and takes place this year July 30 – August 1st.

Cort worker and their cultural workers in solidarity with them are especially excited since two bands in the lineup at Fuji Rock will support their demands to Cort, Fender and Ibanez.

One of the bands is Ozomatli :

Ozomatli's guitarist, Raul Pacheco, holds up "No Cort' during the samba line (July 2010)

Ozomatli. Source:

And the other band is One Day as a Lion, featuring Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine and drummer Jon Theodore from Mars Volta) who released an EP in 2008 and only began performing this year.

Zack de la Rocha performing in One Day as a Lion at Eagle Rock, LA (July 2010). Source: LA Times

One Day as a Lion

These dynamic bands, who have long stood up for worker rights all over the world, bring some incredible energy to the Cort worker campaign.

We hope that at Fuji Rock, music fans and the music industry will be paying attention to the truth – that the cheap guitars of Cort, Fender and Ibanez should not be made at the cost of worker exploitation!

Or, as the inspiration for One Day as a Lion’s name goes, IT IS BETTER TO LIVE ONE DAY AS A LION THAN TO LIVE A THOUSAND DAYS A LAMB.

Musicians standing up for guitar workers’ rights – this is the world we are aiming for.

No-Cort! solidarity

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm

A supporter in Seoul, Korea holds one-man protest

We ask for your solidarity and creative actions.

This is about the people who made one third of the guitars being circulated worldwide but didn’t own any. Do the names Fender, Ibanez, G&L, or Parkwood sound familiar to you?

Their factory was unventilated and had no windows in the name of ‘high productivity.’ They worked without a break, like hens in cages, and eventually became ill and injured. Some workers lost their fingers in the sawing machines, others suffered from chronic muscle and bone related diseases caused by the sanding and grinding process with only a facemask against the dust. Most of them contracted bronchitis or asthma caused by working in the unventilated paint rooms full of solvents. They worked overtime without being paid for all those hours, arriving early and leaving late, some even collapsing at the factory and then asked to sign resignation papers by their boss while they lay in their hospital beds.

Nevertheless, these Korean workers were happy whenever they saw the gleaming guitars inlaid with mother of pearl, produced by their own hands and exported to countries around the world. They worked hard, day and night, for ten to twenty years with pride. Finally, after establishing their labor union in 2006, they raised their wage to the highest level in 12 years, but the raise only brought them near the minimum wage of Korea.

Meanwhile, Park Young Ho, the CEO of Cor-tek, has built up a fortune of $78Million dollars during this period, at the expense of the workers’ labor. (Click “read more” below to get the rest of the post)

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