Two decades after overseas sweatshop conditions first hit national headlines, garment factory conditions have become worse than ever. In Cambodia, workers earn so little they cannot afford basic nutrition and are fainting en masse in factories producing for billionaire apparel corporations like adidas. In Bangladesh, 500 workers in the last five years have died in preventable factory fires while sewing garments for companies like The GAP. In Nicaragua, workers are systematically fired for exercising their protected right to form unions, and in Indonesia, workers are falling deeper and deeper into debt as greedy companies like adidas refuse to pay them what they’re legally owed after their union factories illegally shut down.
But there’s a solution – just in December, the U.S. Department of Justice gave us the green light to demand multinational corporations put an end to their out of control sweatshop practices, and it affirmed that Universities can in fact demand multinational apparel corporations making college-logo apparel to keep production in factories that actually respect workers’ basic rights to form a union and earn living wages, enshrined through a proposal students and workers made 7 years ago called the Designated Suppliers Program.
We know the last thing greedy apparel companies want is to respect workers’ rights to unionize and share their billions in profits by paying their workers living wages. This is the beginning of a tough fight in solidarity with garment workers around the world risking their lives and their jobs for better conditions.
That’s why, this summer, 12 students, as part of the USAS International Team, will be dispatched to garment-producing countries to document garment workers’ conditions, learn from, and develop stronger ties with sweatshop workers fighting for dignified working conditions and their right to form a union. USAS activists will be placed with unions and workers’ rights organizations across the Americas, Asia, and Europe, and they’ll hit the ground running igniting on-campus campaigns in the Fall.
Join the campaign:
- A Day of Mourning for Murdered Garment Workers Posted on: April 28, 2013
“I jumped to save my body, not my life.” Those were the words of Sumi Abedin, a Bangladeshi garment worker and survivor of the Tazreen factory fire…
- VICTORY! “Badidas” Campaign Forces Adidas to Respect Indonesian Garment Worker Rights Posted on: April 24, 2013
In hard-fought victory, students and workers have forced German sportswear giant Adidas to…
- Adidas Headquarters is on Lockdown Because of Us Posted on: April 9, 2013
Students and workers are swarming all over Adidas America headquarters in Portland. Together with Portland Jobs with Justice, we’re taking the Badidas Campaign directly to the source, going face-to-face with the corporation that robbed us of $1.8 million we are rightfully owed.
- Victory! University of Kentucky Affiliates with Worker Rights Consortium Posted on: March 30, 2013
Another USAS victory! As of Friday March 15th, the University of Kentucky has become officially affiliated with the Worker Rights Consortium.
- Christina Paxson: Cut the Adidas Contract Now! Posted on: March 19, 2013
For 11 months, the Brown University Student Labor Alliance has called on our administrators to respect the rights of the workers who make our university apparel…