Members of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and interns from Union Summer took action at a Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) store in Rockville, Md., last weekend to protest the retailer's association with The North Face, a company that uses sweatshop labor in Bangladesh to produce its products. Nearly 2,000 workers in the factories in Bangladesh that North Face and other companies use have died in recent years because of unsafe workplace conditions. Watch the video to see the students in action.
Last week students from the University of Memphis Progressive Student Alliance, USAS Local 68, courageously took over a local T-Mobile store to deliver a holiday message to the company. Watch these brave students as they face down the vicious management reaction and peacefully deliver their holiday message.
United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) students at dozens of campuses across the country are launching a new campaign to demand that universities cut commercial ties with T-Mobile unless the company changes its ways. With T-Mobile workers fighting for a voice on the job and the company engaging in a vicious, anti-worker campaign, students are stepping up to put an end to the exploitation of T-Mobile workers in their names. T-Mobile has important contracts on campuses that grant the company preferential access to market to students and staff, contracts to purchase wireless service for staff and, most importantly, construction of cell tower infrastructure on campuses.
In the first of many concrete moves after the AFL-CIO passed a resolution at its national convention to create new and lasting community partnerships to open and broaden the labor movement, the federation announced today that it entered a new national partnership with United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). The primary goals of the new alliance are to strengthen workers' rights and build power for students and workers. One of the major themes of the national convention was the need for the AFL-CIO to make the labor movement more open and to forge stronger alliances with non-labor groups, and this is the first step down that path.
In a dramatic demonstration of how deadly the global supply chain really is, Scott Nova, director of the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), opened a panel on workers' rights in Bangladesh during the recent AFL-CIO Convention with this observation:
Of the four deadliest factory disasters in history, three of those four happened in the last 12 months.
After last week's Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, which killed at least 377 garment workers, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) started a petition calling on three of the leading users of Bangladeshi garment workers—Walmart, the Gap and H&M—to demand that factories in the country be made safe for workers. The building collapse is already the deadliest garment factory disaster in known history and the death toll is not yet final. USAS says the deaths could have easily been prevented, as cracks appeared in the structure the day before it collapsed. Workers were ordered to work in the building anyway, under threat of losing a month's pay.
Construction workers and others in the Austin, Texas, area are celebrating a coalition victory this week after Travis County commissioners approved a first-ever economic development policy that includes a living wage requirement.
The policy requires contractors asking for tax incentives to move into the county to pay all employees at least $11 per hour. It’s a significant improvement over the prevailing construction hourly wage of $7.50.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spent $1 billion to build the gilded palace his legendary National Football League team plays in eight Sundays a year. But in the gift shops inside Cowboys Stadium and in sports apparel stores around the nation, Cowboys fans are buying fancy jackets, jerseys and other gear made by Cambodian workers earning just 29 cents an hour for 10-hour days, six days a week.