Workers protest against Ibanez, Fender

Rage Against The Machine have come out in support of striking workers in some of the world's most prominent guitar manufacturers.

One of the world's best selling musical instruments, the guitar is now big business. Assembled in factories across the globe, it is now subject to the same market forces which make and shape every other area of our lives.

Which is why it is sad to report that production in South Korea has been halted amid an industrial strike. It seems that some of the world's largest guitar companies are involved with factories who have questionable conditions.

Cort Guitar workers have gone on strike after years of apparent abuse. A statement from their union reveals support from Rage Against The Machine icons Tom Morello and Zach de la Rocha.

A statement from the workers states:

"The Cort and Cor-tek guitar workers of South Korea produced guitars at Cort’s factories for famous brands such as Fender and Ibanez for decades, but were abruptly fired in 2007 for forming a union to change their sweatshop-like conditions. Both Korea’s National Labor Relations Commission and the Seoul courts judged Cort’s mass dismissal and the sudden closure of its Korean factories to be illegal."

"The Commission and the courts also found the company’s claim of financial hardship to be false and fined the company. However, despite these rulings, Cort has used intimidation and violence to secure forced resignations from the workers to deny them unemployment benefits and to retaliate against the union through hired thugs. The workers’ case is now in Korea’s Supreme Court."

"Cort Guitars has profited in the billions of dollars from making guitars for the global market. But at NAMM, the guitar workers and supporters from all walks of life will call on Cort, Fender and Ibanez to respect basic worker rights and re-open Cort’s illegally shuttered factories."

A full press conference by the worker's union is scheduled for January 13th in Los Angeles, during the NAMM Show. For more details click HERE.

Follow Clash: