By Erik Wasson
AFL-CIO responds to report of government buying sweatshop clothes
America’s largest union confederation on Monday reacted angrily to a new report that the U.S. government and military is buying clothes from foreign sweatshops.
A report in The New York Times on Monday traced uniforms and other government clothing to factories with violations throughout the globe.
“The United States government has failed to ensure transparency and integrity in the government supply chain, and this has fostered international sweatshops and egregious labor law violations. We call on President Obama to end these appalling practices,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.
He called on President Obama to strengthen executive orders “to ensure that companies earning profits from U.S. taxpayer dollars do not break labor laws and violate human rights at home and abroad.”
He also called on the administration to steer procurement toward factories that respect worker rights and on Congress to pass legislation making labor law compliance a condition for obtaining government contracts.