A protest at Mexmode – an assembly factory in Atlixco, Mexico that produces college sweatshirts for Nike and Reebok – in January 2001 over objectionable working conditions launched an international outcry from Mexican and U.S. labor activists. The Worker Rights Consortium, a D.C. based group created by university students, administrators, and labor rights experts, began an investigation and discovered that Mexmode workers were subject to low wages, verbal abuse, and corruption under existing union leadership. The group instantly began a campaign in conjunction with workers at the factory to pressure Nike, which has a history of sweatshop conditions in Asia, and Mexmode to improve working conditions.
Labor rights activists finally emerged victorious as Nike pressured factory managers to implement pay raises, eradicate child labor, form a grievance board, and reinstate workers fired as a result of protests. Workers are now forming a new, independent union. After gaining permission to form only two weeks ago, 80 percent of Mexmode’s workers have joined. The majority of workers at the factory are young women, most of them single mothers in their 20s with only limited education. Global Exchange, a non-profit organization that monitors Nike and their use of sweatshop labor, hails the Mexmode case as a success. “The experience at the Mexmode factory is hugely encouraging for the corporate accountability movement and the anti-sweatshop movement,” said Jason Mark, Communications Director. A Global Exchange report, however, shows that Nike still has far to go to alleviate sweatshop labor abuses as workers making Nike products still face sub-standard pay, long hours, verbal abuse, and violent intimidation.
Media Resources: New York Times, 10/8/01; Worker Rights Consortium Press Release, 1/26/01; Global Exchange; Feminist Majority Foundation
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .