January , 2019

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CHICAGO, IL — On the heels of the one-year anniversary of the deadliest garment industry disaster in history at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, Alderman Ameya Pawar along with Aldermen of the Asian American caucus and the Latino caucus introduced an ordiance ensuring that Chicago workers’ uniforms are not manufactured using sweatshop or child labor. They have worked closely with Chicago Fair Trade a coalition of organizations that works to increase support for ethical and fair trade products.

A year ago, one thousand one hundred and twenty nine garment workers died, and over 2500 were injured in the Rana Plaza collapse. The New York Times reported that military and other national institution garments have been produced at sweatshops in Bangladesh, Thailand, and Cambodia, some of which employ children, and where workers earn only dollars a day, face verbal and physical abuse. At factories with U.S. federal contracts, workers have reported wage theft, being beaten for failing to meet quotas, and soiling themselves because of restricted bathroom breaks.

“The consumer choices we make here in Chicago shape the lives of workers and producers around the world,” said Katherine Bissell Cordova, Executive Director of Chicago Fair Trade.  “Those choices can enrich or impoverish, they can empower or enslave.”

Alderman Ameya Pawar has taken the lead with this ordinance, in collaboration with the Mayor’s  Office of Community Engagement and following the example of over 40 other cities, including L.A., St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Boston, passing Sweatfree ordinances.  This is  a response to both the resent factory tragedies, and the failure to prevent procurement of sweatshop apparel by federal legislation. The ordinance would ensure transparency in the procurement of uniforms for city workers, including for police and firefighters.

U.S. apparel companies have tried to distance themselves from stories of sweatshops in other countries.  This ordinance would require reporting of their supply chain.  ” Unless we the residents of Chicago take control of how our tax dollars are spent and insist on sweatfree goods, US-based suppliers and brands can continue to shirk responsibility and hide behind an ever more complex and opaque supply chain, ” said Jamie Hayes, Chicago fashion designer and volunteer at Chicago Fair Trade.

Press conference and sweatfree campaign is organized by Chicago Fair Trade, which represents over 70 local businesses, organizations, religious congregations, and educational institutions. www.chicagofairtrade.org

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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