Unity Principles

“Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.”
– Martin Luther King, 1967


These Unity Principles reflect the spirit that SweatFree Communities Staff and Board of Directors hope to bring to their work in the anti-sweatshop movement.

1. We support worker-led struggles against sweatshop conditions. In formulating our work, we strive to take our direction from sweatshop workers and worker movements.

2. When we join together we are more effective. As we confront sweatshop exploitation, we also try to promote broad alliances between people of all religious faiths, youth, students, retired people, labor, small business, laid-off workers, immigrant workers and sweatshop workers.

3. We strive to act democratically, transparently, and respectfully with our partners in the anti-sweatshop movement. When possible and appropriate, we make decisions by consensus within SweatFree Communities.

4. As a U.S. organization, we have a special responsibility to oppose “pre-emptive” wars that serve to concentrate economic power and control in a few unaccountable transnational corporations, while funneling public resources from people and communities. Such wars particularly hurt poor people in the United States and in other countries.

5. We oppose anti-worker “free trade” agreements. In addition to the many other problems, notably the promotion of economic practices that destroy natural ecosystems, these agreements threaten workers' rights, promote the spread of low-wage sweatshop jobs, and undermine efforts for locally controlled, sustainable, and dignified production.

6. We intend to struggle against racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and other forms of oppression within our society, within our organizations, and within ourselves. These oppressions are building blocks of a global economy based on sweatshop exploitation. Dismantling oppressions goes hand in hand with ending sweatshops.