Friday, February 19, 2010

Sweatshops Right Here in the USA

If you live in San Francisco then you check out the University of San Francisco Human Rights Film Festival - this film screened today.

Made in L.A.

2007, 70 min, USA, Dir. Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar

Made in L.A. is a documentary that follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from trendy clothing retailer Forever 21. In intimate observational style, Made in L.A. reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman’s life as they are gradually transformed by the experience. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, Made in L.A. is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice.

Trailer -

The film received the Emmy at the 29th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards in the category of Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story-Long Form.

What You Can Do - from the Made In L.A. website:

Join the consumer movement to buy goods made under fair labor conditions!

Some anti-sweatshop organizations (including Sweatfree Communities and the International Labor Rights Forum) have compiled this shopping guide, representing a sampling of sweatshop-free apparel products currently available on the market. For a PDF downloadble flyer, click here.

They have also created the Sweatshop Hall of Shame 2010, which highlights apparel and textile companies that use sweatshops in their global production.

You can also check Coop America's comprenhensive list of Sweat-Free and Fair Trade Products and their amazing Green pages, a nationwide directory of socially and environmentally screened businesses.

If you live in any of these cities, then check out this speaking tour "Sweatshop Workers Speak Out."

Featuring a Bangladeshi garment worker who sews uniforms and a representative of home based workers in Pakistan who stitch soccer balls for government entities in the United States, the tour aims to build solidarity between U.S. communities and workers that produce for our government. Each tour event will focus on action steps that are relevant for local sweatfree organizing, whether to help ignite a new campaign or bring an active campaign to the next level.

April 14-16: Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN
April 17-20: Wisconsin
April 21: Chicago, IL
April 23-24: Michigan
April 26-27: Ohio
April 28-29: Pennsylvania
April 30: Washington, DC

If your city isn't listed then email trina.tocco(@) to inquire about hosting an event.

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