In the News

Fair trade labeling isn't cut-and-dried

The Sacramento Bee

For some shoppers, when they buy their coffee, a bottle of honey and or that Mexican woodcarving, a "fair trade" label on it is just as important as the taste or the look or the cost.

The fair trade label of one international organization is familiar to at least half of consumers, according to a 2008 survey conducted in 15 countries for Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International.

Yet even as awareness grows, fair trade gins up controversy because the term is difficult to define – unlike, say, setting safe lead-paint levels for toys...

Public Procurement with a Conscience

Policy Innovations

Although efforts to adopt decent labor standards through free trade agreements are stymied on the international level, activists in the United States are quietly making progress on the local level. At last count, 39 cities, 15 counties, and eight states have adopted policies expressed under a common banner: No taxpayer money for sweatshop goods!

Babes in Arms

Inland Empire Weekly

The Safariland website is a virtual big box retailer of tactical equipment, chemical weapons and forensics for police departments, military and private security contractors. The Premium Wallbanger System is used for SWAT team entry operations and can create a shooting port through a wall. It can use an explosive charge to breach metal doors and provides OVC spray coverage. The Protech brand makes a rifle threat plate that can withstand multiple rounds from an AK-47. The DeltaNu Reporter is a handheld illicit drug identification system.

City should have picked American made uniforms

The Bay View Compass

In order to solve our economic woes I have been promoting “leveling the playing field for the American worker.” That is, our economic woes are caused primarily from an uneven playing field for the American worker. In other words, because we have a value system that prides itself on family-supporting jobs, worker’s compensation, social security, providing for the safety of the workers, and protecting the environment, etc., we are being penalized by companies that want to exploit workers for economic gain by going overseas.

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...

Click here for full article>>


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...