Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sweat Free Massachusetts

If Massachusetts is like other states, most of the apparel, textiles, and other products that it buys are made in sweatshops. That doesn't sound like Conscious Consuming to us!

But that can change. Conscious Consuming is proud to be part of a growing national movement of students, workers, unions, faith-based groups, and community organizations is organizing for sweatfree purchasing to build market demand for sweatfree products and political momentum for a just global economy. Six state governments, 45 cities and counties, 120 school districts, and 164 colleges and universities have adopted policies requiring their apparel products to be made in fair labor conditions.

Help us make Massachusetts sweatfree! Through our collective effort, our state can ensure living wages and decent working conditions for those producing goods for us.

Governor John Baldacci of Maine has written to all governors asking them to take an important step for workers everywhere. Join us in asking Governor Deval Patrick to sign on to Baldacci's resolution calling for multi-state collaboration in sweatfree procurement. Governors Rendell of Pennsylvania and Corzine of New Jersey are already on board. Other governors have expressed interest and will sign on soon. In addition, local campaigns are hoping to get their cities to come together with the Governors' initiative to form a State and Local Government Sweatfree Consortium to coordinate enforcement of sweatfree procurement policies.

While working to gain the Governor's support, we will campaign for a sweatfree procurement law in Massachusetts, which will include the following provisions:
• A sweatfree manufacturing code of conduct: All vendors, contractors, and subcontractors with the state must adhere to the code of conduct which includes respect for local laws and International Labor Organization standards; above-poverty wages; rights to assemble and bargain collectively; non-discrimination; ban on child labor; and safe working conditions.
• Disclosure of factory locations and wages: To qualify for a bid vendors must disclose locations of factories and wages of workers producing goods to be sold to the state.
• Collaboration with other states and independent accountability: Join other public purchasers nationwide by pooling resources to investigate labor violations and monitor factories, coordinate enforcement, and buy jointly from sweatfree factories.
• Community involvement: Creation of a community advisory committee composed of citizens and worker rights experts to ensure that good intentions are translated into good results.

Please join Conscious Consuming in endorsing this important effort to improve working conditions locally and globally online, visit Your endorsement also signals support of the national campaign for a State and Local Government Sweatfree Consortium.

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