January 16, 1997 in Nation/World

Jesse Jackson Drops Mitsubishi Boycott

From Staff And Wire Reports

The Rev. Jesse Jackson ended an eight-month boycott against Mitsubishi on Wednesday, saying the automaker was committed to reforms that include increasing the number of minority and women dealers.

The company also will rehire women who lost their jobs or quit after filing lawsuits that alleged Mitsubishi allowed sexual harassment at an Illinois plant.

Jackson, at a news conference with Patricia Ireland, president of the National Organization for Women, said the boycott had convinced Mitsubishi “to end the hostile workplace environment for women and people of color (and) pursue vigorously the resolution of this sex and race harassment crisis.”

Neither Jackson nor Mitsubishi executives offered an estimate of what the picketing and boycott may have cost the company.

A lawyer for 28 of the 29 women whose lawsuits are pending, said she had not yet heard from Mitsubishi about restoring jobs.

Patricia Benassi said seven or eight of the plaintiffs had been fired, some left work on disability caused in part by being harassed and some still were working.

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