March 2007

Newsletter #14

Contents:
1) Clean Clothes and Fair Food Conference: Register now!
2) Sponsor the Clean Clothes and Fair Food Conference
3) Public Officials, Advocates Coming Together to Create State and Local Government Sweatfree Consortium! First Meeting of Its Kind
4) Campaign News
5) Support SweatFree Communities

Clean Clothes and Fair Food Conference: Register Now!

Don't miss the Fourth Annual SweatFree Communities Conference! This year we are hosting the conference together with the Alliance for Fair Food. Join us at Columbia Law School in New York City, April 27-29, 2007. Register now!

Presenters include Julia Quiñonez, Comité Fronterizo de Obreros, Mexico; Scott Nova, Worker Rights Consortium; Ngai Lung Tai, Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), Hong Kong; representatives from Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Student/Farmworker Alliance; Cathy Albisa, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative; Reverend Noelle Damico, Prebysterian Church USA; and many others.

Check out our conference website to register online and to view the list of presenters and workshops. If possible, register by March 20; registration will continue to be open until spaces are filled. We have some travel scholarships available for low-income participants. To apply, please register by March 20, and note your request in the form.

Sponsor the Clean Clothes and Fair Food Conference

We invite your business, union, church, or organization to sponsor the conference! Your sponsorship will help enable exciting presenters and low-income activists to participate in the conference. It will help us spread the word far and wide, generating awareness and action to end sweatshop abuses.

To sponsor the conference, please respond using our online form by April 10.

Public Officials, Advocates Coming Together to Create State and Local Government Sweatfree Consortium! First Meeting of Its Kind

Public officials and sweatfree campaigns leaders from Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Providence, and San Francisco, among other places will gather for the first time on March 29 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to discuss the vision for the State and Local Government Sweatfree Consortium and plan next steps toward the goal of launching the consortium by the end of 2007. SweatFree Communities serves as the convener and the Pennsylvania Department of General Services as the host for the meeting in Harrisburg. We still need funding to help cover the expenses of this meeting. If you can help, please email bjorn@sweatfree.org.

We'll report back on the meeting in our April newsletter.

Campaign News

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: As a result of persistent organizing by the Pittsburgh Anti-Sweatshop Community Alliance, Allegheny County Council adopted a sweatfree procurement ordinance earlier this month. Read more...

Kosher Clothes Campaign: March is Progressive Jewish Alliance's Sweatshop Awareness Month, a time for remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of March 25th, 1911, and for taking action against present day sweatshops. Community organizations, Jewish summer camps, businesses and synagogues can make a difference by making purchasing choices based on a commitment to ending sweatshops. Check out their website to become a signatory on the Kosher Clothes Campaign, buy sweatshop-free kippot, or to receive a sample lesson for grades 7 to 12 addressing sweatshops from a Jewish perspective.

Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Sweatfree Campaign held a tour with garment workers and organizers from Nicaragua and El Salvador in February that raised awareness about labor conditions in Central America, sweatfree alternatives, and the Massachusetts Sweatfree Campaign. The campaign aims to get Governor Deval Patrick to join the Governors' Coalition for Sweatfree Procurement and Worker Rights. The campaign had a series of letters to the editor published responding to the raid of a sweatshop in New Bedford.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Another victory of the Pittsburgh Anti-Sweatshop Community Alliance is the passage of a resolution in the Pittsburgh City Council calling for a performance audit to investigate compliance with the city's sweatfree procurement ordinance adopted in 1997. Read more...

Portland, Oregon: The Portland Sweatfree Campaign, organizing for a sweatfree procurement ordinance in Portland, received a series of press hits after a rally with approximately 200 union members, community leaders, students, and concerned Portlanders. Read more...

Check out SweatFree Communities and local campaigns in the news!

If there is not yet a sweatfree campaign in your area, please contact us for information on how to get involved.

Support SweatFree Communities

Not able to participate in our annual conference this year? We are calling on everyone who has to skip the weekend to help make the conference possible for others by sending a spring donation to SweatFree Communities. Click here to donate online. Thank you for your support.