Portland Sweatfree Campaign
Media Resources Endorsers
January 26, 2010-- During the holiday season Portland City Hall celebrated the city's achievements in socially responsible purchasing by holding a Sweatfree Art Exhibit. People came to view powerful social commentary captured through art, enjoy music by Bajo Salario, and do last minute holiday shopping from local sweatshop-free / fair trade businesses tabling at the event.
"Bangladesh" by artist Janet Essley was one of the paintings on exhibit at the Sweatfree Art Show. In Subsidizing Sweatshops, Parmita, an 18-year-old Bangladeshi garment worker, describes what happened one day when she declined to work the night shift: "First the supervisor threatened me. But after dinner break I did not go back for the night shift. The following day when I went to work my supervisor shouted at me and slapped my face. Later I had to stand up a full day as a punishment," (p. 12).
The Portland Sweatshop-Free Purchasing Policy has a clause on "Humane Treatment & Disciplinary Practices" intended to prevent these sorts of abuses, which reads: "Employees shall be treated with respect. Corporal punishment and other forms of coercion, abuse or harassment, whether psychological, verbal, sexual or physical, is prohibited."Check out the slideshow of photos from the event.
passes the First Sweatshop Free Ordinance in the Pacific Northwest!
Thanks to the collective effort of all sweatfree
supporters who fought to make sure their tax dollars do not support sweatshops,
the City of Portland has resoundingly supported the passage of the Portland
Sweatshop Free Purchasing Policy. This policy is a
strong tool for supporting garment workers by requiring contractors to ensure
freedom of association and just cause termination as well as prohibiting
"cut and run" practices that that allow contractors to dodge
responsibly for worker rights violations in an industry where countries compete
fiercely by promoting cheap labor and lax environmental regulations.
We expect that this will be the first in a series of
victories in the Northwest as a groundswell of sweatfree campaigns organize to
make their cities and states sweatshop free!
Press Release, Oct 15, 2008
Victory in Portland: Landmark Sweatfree Resolution Passes