Friday, August 24, 2007

Stop Toxic Imports

Toxic Toys, Fouled Food, Poisoned Pets

We all know too well the devastating effects of a broken trade system: the loss of jobs, shattered communities, staggering national deficits.

Now, nearly every edition of the daily newspaper or broadcast of the nightly news reveals there are more side effects that could harm every American — toxic toys, poisoned pet food, tainted toothpaste and an at risk human food supply are making their way into the United States from China and other places where there are little or no environmental and health regulations.

In early August, Fisher-Price recalled 967,000 plastic preschool toys made in China because their paint contains excessive amounts of lead. The recall covered 83 types of toys including play sets, toy vehicles, figures and musical instruments. Many of the recalled toys are connected to popular children’s TV programs including Sesame Street, the acclaimed educational series, and Dora the Explorer, an animated series. Fischer-Price is a subsidiary of Mattel Inc.

In July, media reported that 180 food factories in China that make everything from shrimp to candy were shut down after inspectors found industrial chemicals such as formaldehyde, illegal dyes and wax being used in products.
Source: USW

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bush's War = Madness

  • 1,612 Days = WWll + 266
  • Deaths as of Aug 17 = 3,706
  • Daily rate (last 14 days) = 2.6
There really is a flaw in our system of government when a nut job for a president can't be removed from office when the only option is impeachment, and the impeachment process has lost its credibility because of the Monica Lewinsky thing and the result of Dick Cheney taking over would probably be just as bad.
What a terrible state of affairs.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sweatshop Quick Fact #4

A recent poll showed that 76 percent of Americans believe that workers should be protected, just as corporate trademarks and products are in the global economy.

The Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act (S. 367 & H.R. 1992) will ban sweatshop goods from entering our markets.

Call or email your congressional representatives and ask them to co-sponsor this much needed legislation.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives

Members of the U.S. Senate

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sweatshop Quick Fact #3

The U.S. government often gives foreign aid to those same countries whose poverty is directly linked to exploitation by U.S. businesses operating abroad.

A quick phone call or letter to your U.S. Congressman and your U.S. Senators will go along way towards making the passage of the Anti-Sweatshop legislation become the law of our land.

The Bill numbers are H.R. 1992 and S. 367. Ask them to co-sponsor this humane legislation.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sweatshop Quick Fact #2

While some sweatshops exist in the U.S. today, they largely disappeared with the rise of trade unions and government regulation.

We can eliminate more of these labor abuses by urging our U.S. Congressman and Senators to co-sponsor the Anti-Sweatshop legislation (H.R. 1992 and S. 367).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sweatshop Quick Fact #1

What kind of manufactured goods are made with sweatshop labor?

It is not just the garment industry. Common sweatshop goods include tires, auto parts, shoes, toys, computer parts, electronics, and nearly every other kind of manufactured good.

Urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act (S. 367 & H.R. 1992). It will ban sweatshop goods from entering our markets. Do it for your country, do it for your children, do it for yourself.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Did You Know?

The Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 prohibits the importing or exporting of dog or cat fur products into the U.S. market.

The goal of this Act is to deter the brutality and suffering inflicted upon dogs and casts, whose fur was being used for products such as coats that were entering the United States. Is it not time to extend these same protections to human beings?

Urge your Congressional Representative and Senators to support the anti sweatshop legislation (H.R. 1992 and S. 367. This is the Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What's Wrong with America

Steve Skvara is the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) Executive Board Member for Indiana and Illinois.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Anti-Sweatshop Enforcement

How would the Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act (S. 367 & H.R. 1992) be enforced?
The Federal Trade Commission is charged with investigation of complaints and enforcement. As an added incentive for businesses not to exploit workers, competitors or investors can bring a private suit against any company using sweatshop labor to produce goods for the U.S. market. This includes manufacturers that operate sweatshop facilities in the U.S. as well.

Have you called or written to your members of Congress yet?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Whe Benefits from from S. 367 & H.R. 1992

If the Decent Working Conditions and Fair competition Act can become law, consumers will get peace of mind knowing that they are not supporting sweatshop conditions. Businesses benefit from not having to go up against immoral competitors. Most importantly, workers around the globe will benefit from increased pressure to improve working standards - something our current trade relationships fail to do.

Please urge your members of the U.S. Congress to co-sponsor this legislation.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

What is a Sweatshop Good?

Any good manufactured in a condition that violates core labor standards is a sweatshop good.

That includes:

  • The right to associate, organize and bargain collectively;
  • The right to work free from forced or child labor; and
  • The right to have acceptable conditions of work in terms of wages, safety and health standards, and hours of work.
Call your U.S. Representative and Senators and urge them to support the Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act (S. 367 & H.R. 1992)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Central American Sweatshops

In Central America, companies exporting to the U.S. routinely target young, unmarried girls for hard labor. Forced abortions are common. When these girls reach a certain age, they are often fired in favor of younger workers.

In the overwhelming majority of these situations, workers have no recourse. They are merely bystanders in the global economy, used and abused by multi-national corporations in their quest to fatten bottom lines.

In the United States, workers are forced to compete with products made under these conditions. Downward pressure on wages and benefits, lost jobs and destroyed communities are the result.

We can do better; we can restore justice in our global trade relationships.
Tell your U.S. Representative and Senators to support the Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act (S. 367 & H.R. 1992). It will ban sweatshop goods from entering our markets. The bill also prevents our government from purchasing sweatshop goods with our taxpayer dollars.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sweatshops in China

Manufacturing workers in China are routinely paid sub-poverty wages, locked inside plants and forced to work in filthy, unsafe conditions.The Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act (S. 367 & H.R. 1992) will ban sweatshop goods from entering our markets.

Call or write to your U.S. Representative and Senators and tell them to Co-sponsor this important legislation.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Anti-Sweatshop Legislation

Join the USW’s Fight for Anti-Sweatshop Legislation

For much too long, our trade agreements have incorporated all types of corporate protections, while ignoring the lives of human beings within our global economy. As a result, worker oppression and abuse is rampant around the globe:

In Jordan, recent reports exposed slave labor conditions among imported workers making products destined for the U.S. market. If workers spoke out against their lack of pay or 18-hour days, they were beaten. Because passports were seized, workers had no escape from their factory compound.

Call your U.S. Representative and Senators and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 1992 and S. 367, the Anti-Sweatshop Bill.