Lyn and Shawn (linjin@tao.ca)
Fri, 20 Jun 1997 02:09:55 pst

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Labor Alerts/Labor News a service of Campaign for Labor Rights 1247 "E" Street SE, Washington, DC 20003 clr@igc.apc.org (541) 344-5410 http://www.compugraph.com/clr


[NOTE: For a copy of the resolution to be set forward at the Conference of Mayors -- the same resolution passed by the City of North Olmsted, Ohio -- contact Campaign for Labor Rights: clr@igc.apc.org]

San Francisco, June 18: On Saturday, June 21, a group of Mayors, San Francisco public officials, and garment worker advocates will hold a press conference to announce the introduction of a "No Sweatshop" resolution at the Conference of Mayors. The resolution establishes criteria for prohibiting cities from purchasing goods made under sweatshop conditions. Specifically, the resolution prohibits purchasing goods made where there is child labor, forced labor, violations of workers' rights or health and safety violations. The resolution also sets standards for wages, benefits and hours of work. Mayor Ed Boyle of North Olmstead, Ohio will introduce the resolution. North Olmstead made labor history in February when it became the first U.S. city to pass such a policy. Since then, other cities in Ohio have adopted the same policy, and interest is growing around the country. Portland, Cleveland, Boston, Allentown, Flint, Austin, Burlington and Bangor are all considering the policy.

In San Francisco, Supervisor Mabel Teng introduced a "No Sweatshop" public purchasing resolution which passed earlier this month. "We want the City to lead the way by supporting businesses who ensure their workers fair and safe working conditions," states Supervisor Teng. Teng has also requested that the City Attorney draft a public purchasing ordinance, which will be voted on by the Board of Supervisors in the coming weeks. Because San Francisco has a purchasing budget of $400 million, the ordinance will have a huge impact. "San Francisco's "No Sweatshop" ordinance will send a message to the city's suppliers that the public wants assurance that tax dollars are not being used to exploit poor families," says San Francisco Supervisor Michael Yaki, who supported the resolution.

"We are hopeful that this "No Sweatshop" policy will be a model that other cities will follow," states Lora Jo Foo, President of Sweatshop Watch. "This is a solid step forward in eliminating sweatshop conditions."

Speakers at the press conference include: Mayor Ed Boyle of North Olmstead, Ohio; San Francisco Supervisor Michael Yaki; Lora Jo Foo, President of Sweatshop Watch; and Ginny Coughlin of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE).

Sweatshop Watch is a coalition of organizations, attorneys, community leaders, organizers and advocates committed to eliminating the exploitation that occurs in and the illegal and inhumane conditions that characterize sweatshops. Sweatshop Watch serves low wage workers, with a focus on the garment industry, primarily in California but also nationally and globally. Contact SWEATSHOP WATCH at 720 Market Street, Fifth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102, Phone: (415)391-1655, Fax: (415)391-0366, sweatwatch@igc.apc.org

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