The Levi Strauss Co. might need to revamp its 1977 slogan to, “We put a little gun control in everything we make.” Company President and CEO Chip Bergh announced in Fortune that the iconic clothing manufacturer is taking a public stand against guns.
The two-pronged approach includes teaming up with Michael Bloomberg’s group, Everytown for Gun Safety, to create an offshoot called Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety. The second facet is to start a Safer Tomorrow Fund to help nonprofits and youth activists who are working to curtail gun rights in the name of ending violence.
Just to make sure the message gets out to all Levi’s employees about where Bergh stands, well ... the company will use a rather heavy-handed approach, encouraging employees to donate to gun control causes because, hey, Levi Strauss will provide twice that much in matching funds. The clothing company will also encourage its workers to spend their five hours a month of paid volunteer time for anti-gun groups. (So, now their employer is going to play Big Brother and monitor where they spend their volunteer time. What's next, will Levi's watch how they spend their free time, too? What if someone goes hunting or to the range?)
Bergh describes Levi’s 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.” But Second Amendment supporters really have to ask how the notion of freedom equates to infringing on the constitutional rights of millions of law-abiding Americans.
Of course, Levi’s sold out when it comes to U.S. jobs years ago by outsourcing much of its labor to Thailand, so why should we expect the company to adhere to any other American ideals?