USA: NGO report alleges companies supplying state uniforms source products from firms "engaged in serious human rights & labor" abuses

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Article
14 July 2008

Subsidizing Sweatshops report - companies' responses

Author: Compiled by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

On 1 July 2008 SweatFree Communities released a report called “Subsidizing Sweatshops” which alleged severe human rights violations in factories used by companies that supply public employee uniforms to the USA federal government. The report makes allegations against the following companies:
- Blauer Manufacturing
- Bob Barker Company
- Cintas Corp.
- Eagle Industries - Has provided a response
- Fechheimer Brothers - The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has invited a response
- Lion Apparel - Has provided a response; includes statement by City of Los Angeles re Lion Apparel
- Propper International - The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has invited a response
- Rocky Brands
- Williamson-Dickie
This page contains links to the full report and articles detailing the allegations and company responses.

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Article
1 July 2008

Tax Dollars Fund Sweatshops, New Study Says

Author: SweatFree Communities

U.S. states, cities, and counties are inadvertently using millions of taxpayer dollars to purchase goods from companies engaged in serious human rights and labor violations, according to a first-of-its-kind report released today by SweatFree Communities. The study… includes in-depth case studies of 12 factories in nine countries that produce public employee uniforms for nine major uniform brands. Subsidizing Sweatshops reveals widespread human rights and labor violations throughout the uniform industry, including: child labor; illegally low poverty wages; forced and unpaid overtime; verbal, physical, and sexual abuse; pregnancy testing, excessively long work hours causing physical ailments; disregard for freedom of speech or association; and elaborate schemes to deceive corporate auditors. [refers to The Bob Barker Company, Blauer Manufacturing Co, Lion Apparel, Cintas Corporation, Fechheimer Brothers Company, Propper International, Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company, Rocky Brands, Eagle Industries] [Articles below include statements/non-responses from 8 of the 9 brands mentioned. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Propper International to respond, but it did not.]

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Article
1 July 2008

[PDF] Subsidizing Sweatshops - How our tax dollars fund the race to the bottom, and what cities and states can do

Author: SweatFree Communities

Subsidizing Sweatshops [report has] reveal[ed] severe human rights violations in factories [used by companies] that...[supply] public employee uniforms for the [USA] federal government... [specific accusations include]...child labor...Illegally low poverty wages...Forced overtime... Excessively long work hours causing physical ailments...Verbal, physical, and sexual abuse... Pregnancy testing...No freedom of speech or freedom of association...[and workers] Forced to lie to the company auditors...[refers to Bob Barker Company, Blauer Manufacturing, Lion Apparel, Cintas, Fechheimer Brothers (part of Berkshire Hathaway), Propper International, Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing, Rocky Brands, Eagle Industries, Arena Fashion Wear, Grupo Karim, Suprema Manufacturing (part of Propper), Charming Enterprises Limited, Hollywood Garments Ltd, Atlantic Tactical, Navarra Group, Gap, Warnaco, American Eagle, EJ Footwear, Georgia Boot, Lehigh, Durango, Quan Tak Footware Company [part of Taiwanese Enterprise Shing Tak Footwear Group], Michael Bianco, Calypso Apparel, EPIC Designs Ltd, Pearl Buying Services, New Wide Garment]

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