J.P. Stevens strikers no fans of ‘Peanuts’

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“In 1976, after its workers in North Carolina voted for the ACTWU to represent them, [J.P. Stevens] once again refused to bargain….

“A five-year international consumer boycott proved ineffective — in part because ‘Peanuts’ characters, stitched into the textile giant’s sheets and towels, masked the corporate identity.

“The ‘Peanuts’ line, [touted as] the ‘single biggest-selling sheet pattern ever produced in the history of the domestics industry,’ was in a special position of influence…. [But like his father] Charles Schulz had a deep suspicion of the demands of labor. Neither Schulz nor [his licensing agency] took steps to persuade Stevens to negotiate. Finally it was a campaign of pressure against the banks and institutions that had supported Stevens — including that future pillar of ‘Peanuts’ licensing, Metropolitan Life Insurance — that forced Stevens to settle.”

–From “Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography” (2007) by David Michaelis

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