Chicago City Colleges Outsources T-shirts to Foreign Sweatshops

You would think the City Colleges of America’s Second City would not be supporting sweatshop labor, child labor and union busting. But the other day I went to a concert at one of Chicago’s city colleges and as a door prize, I received a t-shirt made in a sweatshop.

Everyone who walked in the door received a t-shirt with the school logo on it. My shirt was a Hanes “Beefty-T” made in the Dominican Republic. I seemed to remember something about Hanes, so when I got home I looked it up.

Hanes has one of the worst, if not the worst human rights records in the industry. Last October the national labor committee reported the re-emergence of child labor in factories making apparel for Hanes and WalMart.

The children report being routinely slapped and beaten, sometimes falling down from exhaustion, forced to work 12 to 14 hours a day, even some all-night, 19- to 20-hour shifts, often seven days a week, for wages as low as 6 and a half cents an hour.

Now a new report from the Worker’s Rights Consortium talks about the same factory in the Dominican Republic that manufactured the t-shirt I got as a door prize. The one with the name of one of Chicago’s city colleges on it.

The Worker’s Rights Consortium has over 150 affiliated colleges and universities that help support its work of investigating overseas factories an d insuring fair labor practices for  workers in factories that produce apparel for college logos. Harvard University is a member.  Duke University is a member.  The University of Illinois at Chicago is a member.

What about Chicago City Colleges?  Surely the City Colleges of Chicago supports fair labor practices.  Do you see any of the Chicago City Colleges on the list?


Is your school on the list?

3 Responses to “Chicago City Colleges Outsources T-shirts to Foreign Sweatshops”

  1. Lucy Says:

    I am assuming that the author, if he really wants to make a difference, has contacted the chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago (Dr. Wayne Watson)? What is important is going to the source and trying to make a change! Words on a random website accomplish very little.

  2. Nijma Says:

    I have talked to several administrators at the college where I received the shirt. I am now hearing the shirts are done at the district level and not by the colleges themselves. Perhaps someone who knows the ins and outs of the system can get further than I did.

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