Reportback from 2010 National SweatFree Summit
We just returned from to the 7th Annual SweatFree Summit which took place in beautiful Olympia, Washington. Traditions Cafe did an awesome job of hosting it. The events included skill building workshops, testimonies from workers, reports from sweat free electronic campaigns in Europe (see Procure it Fair). and much, much more.
One of the best things was listening to Reynoldo Donastrong, a union organizer and former worker at the BJ & B factory in the Dominican Republic where he sewed collegiate apparel. Now Donastrong is the Secretary of Education at the FEDOTRAZONAS organization which provides technical support to workers and unions. Donastrong related the history of his involvement in sweatshops and mentioned how important United Students Against Sweatshops were in the successful struggle to get BJ & B workers back and severance pay. Now Donastrong is involved with the very exciting Alta Gracia factory which is the first manufacturing facility to be certified by the Worker Rights Consortium as paying a living wage.
Sweat Free Houston sponsored Carmen Duran’s appearance at the Summit. Ms. Duran was the subject of the documentary Maquilapolis (City of Factories) which provides a strong case against NAFTA. It is a must see film for anyone interested in women’s struggles, environmental justice, sweatshops and community organizing.
We filmed the panel Ms. Duran took part in. You can watch it in two segments right here:
Watch part 2 here: