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Preview: Industrial Workers of the World - Sweat-Free Baseball

Industrial Workers of the World - Sweat-Free Baseball

This is the news page for the Sweat-Free Baseball Campaign. For background and and contact information please visit the main campaign page.


Pittsburgh Push for the immediate release of Kalpona Akter

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 16:53:15 +0000

(image) Sign the National Labor Committee’s petition demanding that apparel licensers step and facilitate an agreement that results in Bangladeshi workers be paid 41 cents an hour - link.

Sign the SweatFree Communities petition demanding the immediate release of Kalpona Akter - link.

YES! We need you to talk about sweatshop on Roberto Clemente Bridge on Saturday August 21! See you there at 5 PM.

YES! We need help following up on every aspect of the letter to Pittsburgh City Council posted below:

Kenneth Miller
Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance
c/o Thomas Merton Center
5129 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15224


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Ethan Orlinski of MLB receives testimony from Pittsburgh City Council about sweatshop abuses at American Needle in Bangladesh

Sun, 23 May 2010 21:51:21 +0000

(image) PICTURE BANGLADEHS MAY DAY - The National Garment Workers Federation of Bangladesh led protest in Bangladesh on May Day. They demanded greater compensation for workers who have died in a fire at a factory sewing apparel for H and M. They march again on May 30!

PICTURE 4.27 City Council Pittsburgh - Darlene Harris, President of Pittsburgh City Council, hosted a post agenda hearing on August 27.

With help of Audrey Glickman, County officials, City officials and representatives of the Sports and Exhibition Authority heard the testimony of Kalpona Amber of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity and Zehra Bano of the General Secretary of the Home-Based Women Workers Federation of Pakistan.

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College Football Fans Unite Against Sweatshops

Mon, 14 Sep 2009 16:32:45 +0000

College Football Fans Unite Against Sweatshops – PITT Alumni Against Sweatshops (part of the Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance) is looking to coordinate some anti sweatshop action alongside the college football schedual…

• North Carolina State 9/26 (kicking PITT’s butt)
• Louisville 10/2 (tied)
• Rutgers 10/16 (kicking PITT’s butt)
• West Virgina 11/27 (tied)

Available to talk to college football fans at any of these games? Let us help! 412-867-9213

Complete list of schools that have dumped Russell is here

Russell’s workers rights violations are here

Help us get some experience before MARCH MADNESS AGAINST SWEATSHOPS

IWW International Solidarity Committee on union label and "sweatfree certification"

Tue, 28 Jul 2009 20:53:04 +0000

(image) The following Motion was passed unanimously by the members of the International Solidarity Committee of the Industrial Workers of the World on July 25, 2009.
--- Portions of this Motion are addressed to the SweatFree Communities and the AFL-CIO Union Label Committee. Both are convening in September.

(image) Where as… there is a viable global apparel union organizing drive spearheaded by workers in the Export Processing Zones and Free Trade Zones producing apparel for the North American consumer market. Policies that leverage the high expectations for workers rights in North American communities and the solidarity of workers in North America through licensing and procurement are a necessary component of this organizing drive.

Be it resolved… that the ISC of the IWW commend SweatFree Communities on its annual conference to be held in Detroit MI on September 11- 13, 2009 and recognizes that SFC Executive Director Bjorn Claeson has worked persistently to maintain openness and substantive dialogue within the community of North America activists supporting global apparel union organizing. Where as… SFC has acknowledged and supported the Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance’s strategy of Community Collective Bargaining with the Home Team as the only way to leverage the anti sweatshop sentiment of communities working to hold their sports teams accountable for the working conditions in which team apparel is sewn.

Be it resolved that the ISC of the IWW continues to its support of Community Collective Bargaining with the Home Team and urges our colleagues in the North America anti sweatshop movement to reject direct negotiations with any of the major leagues.

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Onorato Drops the Ball on PA Human Rights Initiative

Sat, 11 Jul 2009 17:14:29 +0000

Printed in the July 11, 2009 edition of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Onorato's inaction

When the first agreement consolidating city and county procurement functions was moved in 2004, County Council jumped to ensure that it would not undermine the city's ordinance prohibiting the procurement of apparel made in sweatshops. County Manager Jim Flynn assured council that the administration could implement an effective policy. The Onorato administration has failed to do so.

Proud universities like Carlow, Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon use the same standards as those codified by the county to define sweatshop working conditions and monitor their collegiate licensees. The Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance has presented worker testimony to the county administration from workers sewing clothes in sweatshops for companies from which the county procures. Some of those companies are Gildan, Hanes and Rocky Brands, and, of course, these companies vigorously reject the validity of their workers' testimony.

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Baltimore's Human Rights Zone - Pittsburgh Baltimore Bangladesh living wages now!

Wed, 29 Apr 2009 14:04:19 +0000

(image) Ten people from Pittsburgh traveled to Baltimore on April 18, 2009 for a B’More Fair and a Human Rights March hosted by the United Workers Association (UWA). The United Workers Association is the Human Rights Organization that organized the Camden Yards cleaners, part time workers, “temporary” workers hired through a contractor, by putting pressure on Maryland’s Stadium Authority and Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Oriels Baseball Club. They coined the terms “SweatFree Baseball” in reference to the sweatshop working conditions at Camden Yards at the same time as the Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance (PASCA) coined the term in reference to its demand that the Pittsburgh Pirates accept the testimony of sweatshop workers sewing Pirates apparel. The UWA came to Pittsburgh for the All Star Game in 2006 and joined with PASCA to make the demand that our local baseball teams respect the Human Rights of all workers.

The UWA interviewed 150 workers at three restaurants in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor development. The interviews demonstrated systemic violations of workers’ rights such as poverty wages and sexual harassment. The UWA has begun to process these worker rights violations by using the International Declaration of Human Rights like a union contract. By declaring the Inner Harbor a Human Rights Zone, the restaurant bosses, the developer, the public officials who provided subsidies to the Inner Harbor developers and the Baltimore community is made aware that the workers know and intend to exercise their Human Rights to remedy violations of their rights.

The enforcement of workers’ Human Rights is different from traditional union organizing in that it emphasizes workers knowing their rights and exercising them rather than a union contract. The emphasis is not on achieving a union contract but on the community of workers that educate one another and provide support to one another on a daily basis.

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Activism: Local sweatshop protesters take the fight statewide

Mon, 18 Aug 2008 05:09:55 +0000


(image) Earlier this month, Gov. Ed Rendell endorsed an interstate effort to better enforce anti-sweatshop policies. Pennsylvania is the first state to pledge its support for a proposed anti-sweatshop consortium, made up of states, counties and municipalities from across the country.

"Rendell has taken the leadership of states nationally," says Kenneth Miller, who has long been active in local anti-sweatshop campaigns. "He requires the disclosure of factory locations. He requires wage disclosure. And he's taking the leadership in consolidating that information with different jurisdictions."

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Allegheny County Council: Bill would strap guidelines on trade with foreign companies

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 17:36:46 +0000

(image) [Pictured at the right: July 12, 2008 – Kenneth Miller of the Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance (PASCA), Bjorn Claeson, Executive Director of SweatFree Communities, Dennis Brutus of the Thomas Merton Center, Jay Lantzy, Director, Office of Labor/Management Cooperation, PA DOL represented Governor Ed Rendell, and Howard Jackson of Pittsburgh’s Black Political Empowerment Project. We gathered at a Workers Rights Board Hearing, organized by the Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, to hear worker testimony, celebrate SweatFree Communities 5th Anniversary, and join Governor Rendell’s SweatFree Consortium outreach to his colleagues during the National Governor Association meeting.]

Should the Allegheny County chief executive help local businesses make connections with overseas companies -- even if those businesses may not meet Allegheny's health, labor or human-rights standards?

It's a question that county Councilor Bill Robinson is raising with a new piece of legislation.

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