January 19, 2010
What makes clothes Fair Trade?
TransFair, which certifies goods like coffee, tea, chocolate and bananas in the United States, is now developing a standard for Fair Trade apparel. But what standards should factories and buyers meet to earn the Fair Trade label? TransFair has released a draft of their standards online: link
The entire Sweat Free Newsletter is here:
1) Please show your support!
2) 12 more days to vote for your hero
3) What makes clothes Fair Trade?
4) Milwaukee police uniform contract awarded
5) New media tool raises $ for SFC
6) Bring our tour "Sweatshop Workers Speak Out" to town
7) Job opening at U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities Network
Please show your support!
To meet our winter fundraising drive goals, we need to secure 15
new sustainers by February 1st. Our Sweatfree Sustainers donate
a small amount monthly - $10, $15, $20 or more. This ensures
us sustainable income and allows us to focus more time on
organizing instead of fundraising. Please signal your support of
the sweatfree movement by becoming a Sustainer today! Thank you!
12 more days to vote for your hero
We will be naming our Sustainers program after a person who has
inspired the international movement for worker justice. You have
until February 1st to nominate your workers' rights hero. It
only takes a minute to submit a nomination online -- please
What makes clothes Fair Trade?
TransFair, which certifies goods like coffee, tea, chocolate and
bananas in the United States, is now developing a standard for
Fair Trade apparel. But what standards should factories and
buyers meet to earn the Fair Trade label? TransFair has released
a draft of their standards online:
SweatFree Communities and allies sent a joint letter
(http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/jdXz99Y18QLD/) to TransFair
signaling that we would need to see the standard strengthened,
particularly in the areas of living wages and freedom of
association, before we could get behind the effort. We are
awaiting a response from TransFair, which is planning to start
the pilot program this spring.
Milwaukee police uniform contract finally awarded; the work to
protect the workers who make them begins now
After a year-long debate over a $1 million Milwaukee police
uniform contract extensively covered in local media (Dec. 1,
2008, Dec. 28, 2009, Jan. 6, 2010, Jan. 12, 2010), Milwaukee
police and area residents know quite a bit about the origins of
the uniforms. The competitive bid featured U.S. union-made
uniforms on one side, and Chinese-made uniforms on the other.
Two independent preliminary investigations indicated severe
labor rights violations in the Chinese factory, including below
poverty wages and excessive working hours. To the surprise of
many, the bid with the U.S. union-made uniforms came in lower,
even significantly lower, than the competition. Also surprising
many observers, the city chose the more expensive Chinese-made
uniforms, which police preferred. Read on:
New media tool raises $ for SFC
Until January 31st, each time you use 3bl.me to shrink urls, 3BL
Media will contribute 1 cent to be split equally among three
non-profit beneficiaries, which this month includes SweatFree
Communities. This could mean as much as $3500 for our work to
defend and promote workers' rights. Try it out! 3bl.me and help
raise money for SFC by spreading the word. Post on facebook and
tell your twittering and blogging friends!
Bring our tour "Sweatshop Workers Speak Out" to town
Do you live in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana,
Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or DC? Then consider bringing our
April 2010 Speaking Tour to town. Featuring a Bangladeshi
garment worker who sews uniforms for government entities in the
United States, the tour aims to build solidarity between U.S.
communities and Bangladeshi garment workers. Each tour event
will focus on action steps that are relevant for local sweatfree
organizing, whether to help ignite a new campaign or bring an
active campaign to the next level. For more information about
the tour, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Job opening: U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities Network
Our friends at U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities Network are
searching for a co-coordinator, to be based in El Salvador. The
Network is a grassroots organization made up of communities and
individuals in the United States that maintain ongoing
partnerships with rural communities in El Salvador to protect
human rights, build solidarity, and support. Here's a copy of
the job announcement:
Posted by cat at 04:36 PM