In the News

Committee pushing for greater purchasing transparency

The Badger Herald

The city’s Committee on Sweatfree Purchases is looking to make Madison part of a larger consortium that would allow them better transparency and follow-through with regards to purchases from suppliers to the city, officials said during their meeting Wednesday.

Wednesday was only the second meeting of the committee established to address and negotiate the city’s sweatshop-free ordinance put in place nearly two and a half years ago, committee Chairperson Mary Bottari said.

Foul Play

News of the World


Excerpt from article:

Soon you will be able to buy the official trinket - depicting the dreadlocked leopard Zakumi - for £30.

But spare a thought for the poor souls in China who must work TWO WEEKS to earn enough to buy one.

The workers, many of them just teenagers, toil for a pitiful £1.90 a day making the Zakumi figures.

Posing as potential buyers from the UK, our investigators discovered the awful conditions at the Shanghai Fashion Plastic Products factory, 30 miles from the city centre.

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.

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.”

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.”...