National Sweatfree Summit just a month away!

October 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm Leave a comment

November 5-7, 2010 in Olympia, WA

The 7th Annual National SweatFree Summit is coming up in Olympia, Washington, Nov. 5-7, 2010. Information, registration, and sponsorship information is available at The program includes two free public events (highlighted below) with international speakers that do not require conference registration. Please read on for more information, and thank you in advance for spreading the word to your network.


Cross-border organizing in the post-election season

Where: Traditions Cafe, 300 5th Ave SW, Olympia, WA
When: Friday, November 5th, 7:00-8:30pm

Featuring Augusto Obregon and Carmen Duran

with Kristen Beifus of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, Colette Cosner of Witness for Peace, and Bjorn Claeson of SweatFree Communities
AUGUSTO OBREGON has been a campesino farmer and community leader in El Regadio, Esteli, Nicaragua for over thirty years. Three years ago, a tobacco factory designated as a free trade zone was constructed in his community. While the factory may have slightly curtailed migration from his community, the increased cultivation of tobacco has threatened food security, the environment and the health of his people. Augusto’s story illustrates the contentions of development under neo-liberal trade policies and explores the root causes of migration through the eyes of most affected. He is the vice-president of the Federation for the Integral Development between Farmers, a non-profit organization which organizes small-scale farmers around sustainability projects and food sovereignty issues.
CARMEN DURAN assembled television components in Mexico until her job was moved to Indonesia. Experiencing first-hand the effects of NAFTA, she worked grueling hours, suffered from chemicals on the job, and got little sleep — all for less than a dollar an hour. Featured in the documentary Maquilapolis, Carmen’s experiences as a factory worker led her to become a community organizer with the Tijuana Center for Information for Workers (CITTAC) to advocate for the basic rights of low-wage export-processing workers. She has also witnessed the impacts of migration within Mexico, from Mexico to the US, and now from the US back to Mexico again.

This free event (donations welcomed) is part of the Witness for Peace Northwest Tour ( and the National SweatFree Summit ( The talk will be bilingual English-Spanish with professional interpretation.


Worker organizing, corporate campaigning, and sweatfree policy

Where: First Christian Church, 701 Franklin St. SE, Olympia, WA
When: Saturday, November 6th, 4:00-6:00pm

REYNALDO CORPORAN DONASTORG, was a union organizer and worker at BJ&B, where he made baseball caps for Nike and Adidas. The 2003 BJ&B union contract victory was the result of a major international solidarity campaign that gave hope to the possibility of bringing justice to free trade zone workers. However, in 2007 the factory closed as the companies moved their production to non-union environments with lower wages. This year some of the workers found jobs at Alta Gracia Apparel, a new unionized factory that was recently featured in the New York Times for paying three times the minimum wage. Now, as Secretary of Education at the FEDOTRAZONAS union, Reynaldo is researching working conditions and organizing possibilities at major government contractor factories in the Dominican Republic.

VICTOR VELEZ, an attorney and organizer with the union Workers United is leading a lawsuit against Propper International claiming that the company has failed to pay legally owed sick days. He is also organizing a coordinated campaign for union recognition at all of the company’s factories in Puerto Rico. Propper is one of the largest apparel contractors of the U.S. Government and a major military supplier. The State of Washington and the City of Seattle also buy public employee uniforms made by Propper.

This free event (donations welcomed) is part of the National SweatFree Summit ( The talk will be bilingual English-Spanish with professional interpretation.



The National SweatFree Summit will include workshops for new organizers and experienced campaigners alike. In addition to the workshops and public talks, we will develop plans to grow membership in the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium (, lay out the next steps for our emerging campaign for a federal sweatshop-free purchasing policy (, and coordinate local work across the country. This year’s Summit will be especially exciting as it is our first national gathering since the founding of the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium. Come join us in celebrating this major accomplishment and in designing our work for 2011.

More information and online registration is at

We are seeking co-sponsors to enable us to offer travel scholarships to low-income organizers from around the country. Thanks to the generous contributions of our sponsors, last year we provided 20 travel scholarships, which helped ensure that most local community campaigns were represented at the Summit. By sponsoring the Summit, you will help make possible a more accessible national gathering and a more equitable anti-sweatshop movement. Sponsors receive publicity on our website as well as recognition amongst groups that promote ethical purchasing. To download sponsorship materials click here: Word DocPDF

Entry filed under: Events, Sweatfree. Tags: , , , .

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