For the past 14 years, USAS has proven that we’re able to break brands when they violate workers’ rights. For the second year in a row, we’re able to also prove that students can make a union brand like Alta Gracia that respects workers’ rights and pays living wages. That’s why this fall, we’re going on tour with Alta Gracia union leaders Maritza Vargas and Elba Nuris to spread the good news! JOIN US!
Tuesday, September 6 , 6-8 pm| The Bunn Intercultural Center Auditorium, Georgetown University
Monday, September 19, 6 pm | Nyumburu Center, University of Maryland
Sunday, September 11, 8:00pm | Penn Christian Association, 118 S. 37th St., University of Pennsylvania
Monday, September 12, 9:00 am | Mandeville Hall Room 111, St. Joseph’s University
Monday, September 12, 3:00 pm | Corr Hall Lounge, Villanova University
Monday, September 12, 7:00 pm | Room 217C in the Howard Gittes Student Center, Temple University
Tuesday, September 13, 12:00 pm | Room C (K1C) in Klein Hall, Temple University Law School
Tuesday, September 13, 3:00 pm | 265 Barbeline Hall, St. Joseph’s University
New York City
Tuesday, September 13, 9:30 pm | Salice Conley Integrated Learning Center, Fordham University
Wednesday, September 14, 3:30 pm | Kimmel 406, New York University
Thursday, September 15, noon | Intercultural Resource Center (552 W 114th St.; 2nd floor), Columbia University (cosponsored w/ LUCHA)
New Haven, CT
Thursday, September 15, 8 pm| Harkness Hall (WLH) 117, Yale University
Friday, September 16, 7 pm | Equal Exchange Cafe, 226 Causeway Street
Monday, September 19, 3:30 pm | Room 320A Przyla Center, Catholic University of America
Chapel Hill/Durham, NC
Tuesday, September 20, 12:30 pm | Hanes Room 107, University of North Carolina (sponsored by Student Action with Workers, USAS affiliate at UNC)
Tuesday, September 20, 5:00 pm | Social Sciences 105, Duke University
Thursday, September 22, 4:00 pm | Kay Lounge in the Kay Spiritual Life Center, American University
Thursday, September 22, 8:00 pm | Marvin Center, 4th floor
The Alta Gracia Story
Ever since student activists first formed USAS in the ’90s, apparel corporations and college administrators insisted it was impossible to produce our schools’ clothes in union factories that pay living wages. It’s time to officially put that excuse to rest.
A decade ago, workers began organizing a union at BJ&B, the Dominican Republic factory making Nike and Reebok caps for U.S. universities. USAS and BJ&B workers struggled together through a series of unprecedented victories and devastating losses. Now former BJ&B unionists are making history again: At the Alta Gracia factory, the courageous women who led the union efforts at BJ&B are finally making university apparel with a strong union and living wages!
The direct result of worker and student organizing for over a decade with USAS and FEDOTRAZONAS, the free trade zone union federation in the Dominican Republic, Alta Gracia is a groundbreaking factory that is monitored by the Worker Rights Consortium. The Alta Gracia factory, which produces university apparel, employs union workers that are paid a living wage. This wage enables the workers to support their families with dignity, nutritious food, housing, healthcare and education for their children. The ripple effect in the community is impressive. New businesses once shut down with the closure of BJ&B have re-opened across from the factory, construction has picked up, and Alta Gracia workers are going back to school on the weekend to pick up studies where poverty had forced them to abandon school.
Finally an avenue through which to promote a “race to the top,” this business model defies the age-old myth that unions and living wages are impossible in the global apparel industry.