In the News

Milwaukee police get the uniform they wanted

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

City Purchasing Director Rhonda Kelsey has signed off on a city contract with a Milwaukee company that will supply made-in-China uniforms for the Milwaukee Police Department.

The bidding process has dragged on for more than a year amid concerns about price and allegations by labor activists who say a Chinese textile factory violates the city’s anti-sweatshop ordinance...

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Milwaukee Police uniform choice criticized

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Union officials and anti-sweatshop activists joined with Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski to criticize the city’s tentative selection of a vendor that will provide Chinese-made replacement uniforms for police officers.

“This is a new low,” Zielinski said at a City Hall press conference, noting that different vendors offering US-made uniforms and a lower price were passed over.

Zielinski went after Police Chief Edward Flynn, calling him “insensitive” for backing a selection that deprives US workers of jobs during a recession....

Vendor picked for Milwaukee police uniforms

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Hoping the third time is the charm, city purchasing officials once again have picked a vendor to supply replacement uniforms for Milwaukee police officers.

The selection process has dragged on for a year because of tussles over allegations of Chinese sweatshop labor and price concerns. The city tossed out two earlier rounds of bidding.

The apparent winner - amid continuing criticism about the process - is the incumbent vendor: Badger Uniforms, a south side Milwaukee supplier. The deal, though, is not final yet...

NY takes stand against sweatshop abuses

Legislative Gazette

New York is siding with workers’ rights groups in the fight against sweatshop abuses by joining other states and cities that have become members of the nationwide Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium.

Gov. David A. Paterson announced Dec. 11 the state had joined the coalition of state and local governments that are working together to implement and enforce sweatshop-free standards for apparel suppliers...

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3BL Media Launches URL Shortener to Support Charities and Raise Awareness of the 'Triple Bottom Line' Approach for Business

PR Newswire

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.- 3BL Media, the experts in corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability and cause marketing communications, today announced that it has launched, the company's cause-based URL shortener. For each URL shortened via, 3BL Media will make a donation to worthwhile organizations, with initial recipients including Volunteermatch, Sweatfree Communities, and World Wildlife Fund UK.

N.Y. Joins Sweatfree Consortium

Women's Wear Daily

Labor conditions at factories producing uniforms, apparel and textiles used by federal and state governments came under increased scrutiny last week.

New York State on Thursday pledged to purchase government goods from businesses that adhere to labor laws when it joined the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium.

Gov. David Paterson said, “I will do everything I can to ensure that state government funds are not used to support sweatshop conditions.”...

Portland (OR) celebrates its progress toward ‘sweat-free’ procurement

“When we put on our uniforms and wear city-supplied hats and T-shirts, we need to be assured these products are not produced under sweatshop conditions.” That’s what Richard Beetle, business manager of the Laborers local union, said when the city council of Portland, Oregon, last year decided that the city would purchase only uniforms and other apparel that are “sweat-free.”

NY Says No To Sweatshops

The Gouverneur Times

Excerpt from article:

ALBANY, NY(readMedia) - Governor David A. Paterson today announced that the State of New York has joined the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium. The Consortium is a coalition of state and local governments that work together to create and enforce standards for bulk purchases. The members wish to stop buying from contractors that break labor laws by producing goods in sweatshops a movement known as "sweatfree" procurement.

Hong Kong: Women Workers in the Economic Crisis

Z Magazine


Under the heading "Decent Work, Decent Life for Women," the first International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) World Women's Conference brought together 460 delegates from over 100 countries from October 19 to 21 in Brussels. They examined the repercussions of the global jobs crisis on women and mapped out international trade union actions to improve their job security, pay, and working conditions.

Uzbek Students 'Regularly' Expelled For Not Picking Cotton

Radio Free Europe

Uzbek students who refuse to work in cotton fields during the harvest season in Uzbekistan are being expelled from high schools and universities, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Bobur Rashidov, a university teacher, told RFE/RL that an average of five to 10 students who do not attend or leave the compulsory work in the cotton fields are expelled from his university on an annual basis.

He said that of some 3,000 students at his university -- which he asked not be named -- about 1,000 do not participate in the obligatory cotton harvest.