Sweatshop Labor and Your Browns

July 9, 2008: Check the label on your UPS uniform. Odds are it's manufactured outside the USA. And you can bet it comes from a nonunion manufacturer.

The National Master Freight Agreement requires that all uniforms "shall be made in the United States by union vendors if possible." DHL meets this standard. Why doesn't the UPS contract?

Many UPS Teamsters used to wear uniforms produced in the U.S. by Riverside. Some still do. But increasingly, our uniforms are made in China, Cambodia, Egypt and elsewhere.

One common supplier is Cintas, a multi-national that has fought Teamster organizing drives. Cintas filed a RICO lawsuit against the Teamsters and other unions to try stop workers’ effort to form to organize.

The Hoffa administration talks a good game about fair trade and protecting U.S. manufacturing jobs.

UPS talks a good game about being an ethical company, while they save a few pennies by using vendors who pay workers sweatshop wages to make our uniforms.

The bargaining table is a place we can back up that talk with action—by requiring that our union's largest employer, UPS, provide uniforms that are made in the USA by union labor.

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