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IWW International Solidarity Committee on union label and "sweatfree certification"

The following Motion was passed unanimously by the members of the International Solidarity Committee of the Industrial Workers of the World on July 25, 2009.
--- Portions of this Motion are addressed to the SweatFree Communities and the AFL-CIO Union Label Committee. Both are convening in September.

Where as… there is a viable global apparel union organizing drive spearheaded by workers in the Export Processing Zones and Free Trade Zones producing apparel for the North American consumer market. Policies that leverage the high expectations for workers rights in North American communities and the solidarity of workers in North America through licensing and procurement are a necessary component of this organizing drive.

Be it resolved… that the ISC of the IWW commend SweatFree Communities on its annual conference to be held in Detroit MI on September 11- 13, 2009 and recognizes that SFC Executive Director Bjorn Claeson has worked persistently to maintain openness and substantive dialogue within the community of North America activists supporting global apparel union organizing. Where as… SFC has acknowledged and supported the Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance’s strategy of Community Collective Bargaining with the Home Team as the only way to leverage the anti sweatshop sentiment of communities working to hold their sports teams accountable for the working conditions in which team apparel is sewn.

Be it resolved that the ISC of the IWW continues to its support of Community Collective Bargaining with the Home Team and urges our colleagues in the North America anti sweatshop movement to reject direct negotiations with any of the major leagues.

Where as… A Union Label, bargained between workers and their employer, is the best way to assure consumers that adequate working standards are being upheld. We are not aware of a forthright conversation between workers in apparel industry workers in North America and their counterparts in the worlds EPZ’s about union label strategies.

Be it resolved that the ISC of the IWW rejects a “SweatFree” certification of any kind and urges our colleagues at SweatFree Communities to help facilitate a more strait forward conversation about why North American bargaining units are not/unable to bargaining union label provisions in their contracts and how we can educate North America labor unions and consumers about union labels coming from other countries. Where as… Workers in Bangladesh are conducting a regional organizing effort that is not wholly dependant on contract victories to sustain it and the National Garment Workers of Bangladesh and the Bangladeshi Center for Workers Solidarity have fundamentally different and superior organizing strategies compared with groups of apparel industry workers in any other part of the world.

Be it resolved… that we ask SFC to help facilitate a more in depth conversation about the differences between organizing in Bangladesh and organizing in other parts of the world. The ISC of the IWW is committed to supporting and developing regional organizing strategies and demands for a union label in apparel industry manufacturing areas producing for the North American market.

Be it resolved… that the ISC expend $100 in direct support for this years SweatFree Communities Conference and $100 for IWWs to attend. IWW’s who can serve the union by attending this conference should contact ISC representative NAME. The IWW is the Singing Union. IWW members in attendance should bring song sheets and lead conference attendees in a spirited rendition of Solidarity Forever.

Be it resolved… that a copy of this resolution also be forwarded to the AFL-CIO Union Label Committee and that the ISC of the IWW urges them to address the strategies/concerns reflected in this motion at the AFL-CIO’s Annual Conference that will take place in Pittsburgh, PA ALSO September 11- 13, 2009.