Toxic Uniforms

Behind the 'Made in USA' Label

Dec. 10, 2009-- “Made in USA” requirements provide little insurance against poor working conditions and low wages, according to a new report by SweatFree Communities released today, International Human Rights Day. 

The new report, Toxic Uniforms: Behind the ‘Made in USA’ Label, exposes poor working conditions at nine government contractor factories including poverty level wages, pressure on the job, poor benefits, health and safety problems, and discrimination. Nine of the factories are sole suppliers to Propper International and one (recently shuttered) was a sole supplier to Eagle Industries, held by parent company Alliant Techsystems (ATK). Propper International is the largest manufacturer of soldiers’ uniforms for the U.S. Army. Eagle has supplied the federal government and New York State. While outsourcing of jobs is prevalent in the cut-and-sew industry, as Department of Defense contractors, Eagle and Propper are required to produce in the U.S. or its territories under the Berry Amendment. However, as the new report shows, workers in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico, who manufacture goods purchased with our tax dollars, are far from immune from abusive working conditions.

View the report

Click here to view the PDF - 2.5 MB

Print copies (color cover, black & white inside) are $10 each, including shipping. For 5 copies or more, $5 each. To order send a check to SweatFree Communities, 140 Pine St #10, Florence MA 01062, specifying the number of copies requested and mailing address. Contact liana(at)sweatfree(dot)org or 413-586-0974 with inquiries. 

Executive Summary: view online | PDF for printing


Press release

Media inquiries: Bjorn Claeson, 207-262-7277, or Liana Foxvog, 413-586-0974

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Research links

Propper contracts with federal government in 2008

Propper contracts with federal government in 2009 (fiscal year in process, not fully up-to-date)

Major contractors in Puerto Rico in 2008 (Propper is 2nd largest)

Major contractors in Puerto Rico in 2009 (Propper is largest; fiscal year in process, not fully up-to-date)