NOW's Mitsubishi campaign is far from over, but we want to let you know about some recent progress. We have only just begun the tenacious process of hard-ball negotiations with Mitsubishi. And while we are asking activists to suspend protests and pickets at Mitsubishi showrooms, we also are asking them to be ready to spring into action if Mitsubishi stalls progress on our negotiations or reneges on its promises.
On January 13, Patricia Ireland joined Rev. Jesse Jackson in a New York news conference to announce a break-through in negotiations between Mitsubishi, Rainbow/PUSH and NOW. Rainbow/PUSH called off its boycott of Mitsubishi, and we announced our intention to continue the negotiations process in a non-adversarial manner.
We are temporarily putting our protests on hold only after receiving several concessions and promises from top management at Mitsubishi. (Please see Mitsubishi Agreement Summary.) They promised that they would not delay the pending lawsuits and that they would work toward just settlements. Mitsubishi also promised to rehire those women who left their jobs. Now, our challenge is to make Mitsubishi deliver on its promises. We must ensure that the 29 women who are plaintiffs in the suit are treated justly and fairly.
During the coming months, we will work to push Mitsubishi toward a resolution that will benefit women and people of color at all levels of the company. We want to increase the number of women and minority owned dealerships. We want to insure that employees at all levels -- from the assembly lines to the board rooms -- work in a women-friendly workplace free of sex and race discrimination and sexual harassment and assault. We want assurances that women and people of color will be afforded management positions and growth opportunities. Mitsubishi has agreed to all of this, and we will hold them accountable. Most important of all, we will not cease our efforts until the pending sexual harassment lawsuits are equitably resolved.
We must continue our campaign by renewing our support for the women who have waged this battle. Illinois NOW activists have set up a special fund to help the women with their expenses. Contributions can be sent to the Women's Fund.
While it is too early to celebrate a victory, we should congratulate ourselves for the progress we have made. Through the dedicated activism of NOW chapters across the country, we have been able to force Mitsubishi to the bargaining table. Thanks to the strength of our grassroots, we are in the position to improve working conditions and economic opportunities for women and people of color at Mitsubishi -- and in companies nationwide.
Our thanks to all of you for working on this campaign. We will keep you posted as negotiations proceed. If you have any questions about the campaign, please feel free to call Beth Corbin 202-331-0066 x705. She will be happy to assist you. With your continuing efforts, failure is impossible.
Mitsubishi companies have agreed to: