Sunday, March 22, 2009

Two important labor movement related events tomorrow night...

2009 ECONOMIC STIMULUS TOUR
Fighting sweatshops and building a new economy that puts workers first
Monday, March 23 @ 7:30 pmLoyola University Lakeshore CampusInformation Commons, 4th Floor, 6501 N. Kenmore Ave.Take the El to the Loyola stop on the Red LineFree and open to the public.
Complete tour details available here: http://www.sweatfree.org/tour

As part of the SweatFree Illinois Campaign, workers from Honduras and Puerto Rico will join Wisconsin labor advocates to speak out against tax dollar support for sweatshops and for economic policies that lift all boats. Come hear their stories and take action for positive change in 2009.

This year, our elected officials will spend billions of our tax dollars on uniforms and other clothing for public employees like police officers and firefighters. Unfortunately, most of this gear is made in sweatshops by workers forced to work long hours for poverty wages in inhumane and abusive conditions. With the global economy reeling, now more than ever our tax dollars should – and can – support higher standards that level the playing field for U.S. workers and support worker organizing around the world.

Speakers will include:

Elizabeth Gutierrez Reyes worked 15 years in the Honduran garment industry before becoming an organizer and educator for garment workers through FESITRADEH, a Honduran labor federation. Elizabeth is also a nurse. She has extensive knowledge of Dickies de Honduras, a factory in Choloma , Honduras that makes uniforms for the popular Dickies brand. Dickies supplies many U.S. cities and states with work pants, including the State of Illinois , but behind the label is a history of repression of human rights and labor rights.

Maritza Vazquez from Puerto Rico , works for Propper International, a major producer of military and law enforcement apparel. Maritza and her fellow employees are organizing to improve conditions in their factories. Workers have filed a lawsuit against Propper for damages of $225,000 related to unpaid work, alleging that the company did not grant legally required paid sick days and vacation days. Workers in the lawsuit also claim that Propper reduces employees' agreed-upon hourly wages when workers' production falls short of quota.

These events are part of a national tour organized by SweatFree Communities. Thank you to our many local hosts and sponsors: Loyola University Oxfam * 8th Day Center for Justice * Chicago Jobs with Justice * Chicago Fair Trade * La Voz de los de Abajo * USLEAP * Interfaith Worker Justice * Presbyterian Hunger Program * UNITEHERE
For more information, contact midwest@sweatfree.org, 574-975-6207, or visit www.sweatfree.org/tour.

AND...

Aaron Hughes of Iraq Veterans Against the War reports back from the 2009 International Labor Conference In Erbil Iraq:
7:00 PM - UNITE-HERE Hall - 333 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL.

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