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Anti-sweatshop legislation re-introduced in the Senate and House

March, 30 2007 Share

For the first time, anti-sweatshop legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Congress which will prohibit the import, export or sale of sweatshop goods in the U.S.  Up to this point, it has been the companies that have demanded and won all sorts of enforceable laws--intellectual property and copyright laws backed up by sanctions--to defend their corporate trademarks, labels and products. Yet, the corporations have long said that extending similar laws to protect the human rights of the 16-year-old girl in Bangladesh who sews the garment would be "an impediment to free trade." Under this distorted sense of values, the label is protected, but not the human being, the worker who makes the product. 

On January 23, 2007, Senator Byron Dorgan along with co-sponsoring Senators Lindsey Graham, Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders, Russell Feingold and Robert Byrd re-introduced the "Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act" which, when passed will prohibit the import, export or sale of sweatshop goods in the U.S.  A companion bill introduced in the House last year had 66 co-sponsors.

NLC director Charles Kernaghan testified at a Senate committee hearing on Overseas Sweatshop Abuses, Their Impact on U.S. Workers, and the Need for Anti-Sweatshop Legislation on February 14, 2007. Click here to read his testimony and the testimony of a former sweatshop worker.

On April 23, 2007, Representative Michael Michaud of Maine and Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey re-introduced the companion bill (H.R.1992) in the House.

Update: United Nations Expert confirms corporate monitoring is a farce! (6/4/2009)
Read Senate Bill S.367, The Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act
Read House Bill H.R.1992, The Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act
Read The Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000, which sets precedent for The Decent Working Conditions Act.
Link to the United Steelworkers Campaign for the Anti-Sweatshop Legislation
A detailed background on the private right of action, the legal basis for this legislation 
Read background on the legislation, including the bills introduced last year

2007 Senate Sponsors (S.367)

Original Sponsor: Sen. Dorgan, Byron [ND]

Co-sponsors:

Sen Bayh, Evan [IN] - 6/28/2007
Sen Biden, Joseph R., Jr. [DE] - 12/4/2007
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 1/22/2008
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 1/23/2007
Sen Byrd, Robert C. [WV] - 1/23/2007
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] - 10/25/2007
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 7/26/2007
Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] - 9/5/2007
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 6/5/2007
Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] - 1/23/2007
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] - 1/23/2007
Sen Harkin, Tom [IA] - 10/31/2007
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 12/4/2007
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 1/22/2008
Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] - 2/25/2008
Sen Levin, Carl [MI] - 4/14/2008
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] - 3/1/2007
Sen Obama, Barack [IL] - 2/11/2008
Sen Reed, Jack [RI] - 4/2/2008
Sen Rockefeller, John D., IV [WV] - 2/6/2007
Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 1/23/2007
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] - 1/22/2008
Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] - 5/2/2007
Sen Webb, Jim [VA] - 2/15/2007
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] - 3/12/2008

2007 House Sponsors (H.R.1992)
Original Sponsor: Rep. Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2]

Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] - 10/22/2007
Rep Ackerman, Gary L. [NY-5] - 2/21/2008
Rep Allen, Thomas H. [ME-1] - 5/9/2007
Rep Altmire, Jason [PA-4] - 5/22/2007
Rep Andrews, Robert E. [NJ-1] - 12/19/2007
Rep Arcuri, Michael A. [NY-24] - 2/21/2008
Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] - 9/26/2007
Rep Baird, Brian [WA-3] - 5/1/2007
Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 5/24/2007
Rep Barrow, John [GA-12] - 8/2/2007
Rep Berkley, Shelley [NV-1] - 10/30/2007
Rep Berry, Marion [AR-1] - 11/6/2007
Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2] - 10/10/2007
Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] - 12/13/2007
Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] - 10/30/2007
Rep Boucher, Rick [VA-9] - 8/2/2007
Rep Brady, Robert A. [PA-1] - 7/26/2007
Rep Braley, Bruce L. [IA-1] - 5/22/2007
Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] - 10/15/2007
Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1] - 3/11/2008
Rep Capps, Lois [CA-23] - 3/31/2008
Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-8] - 9/26/2007
Rep Carnahan, Russ [MO-3] - 5/24/2007
Rep Carney, Christopher P. [PA-10] - 7/26/2007
Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7] - 6/18/2007
Rep Chandler, Ben [KY-6] - 5/15/2007
Rep Childers, Travis [MS-1] - 9/9/2008
Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] - 10/17/2007
Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-11] - 5/24/2007
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 3/13/2008
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 6/15/2007
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] - 6/21/2007
Rep Cooper, Jim [TN-5] - 4/23/2008
Rep Costello, Jerry F. [IL-12] - 6/25/2007
Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] - 10/22/2007
Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] - 10/22/2007
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 8/2/2007
Rep Davis, Lincoln [TN-4] - 6/5/2007
Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] - 4/3/2008
Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 4/24/2007
Rep DeGette, Diana [CO-1] - 11/14/2007
Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] - 2/27/2008
Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [CT-3] - 7/18/2007
Rep Dingell, John D. [MI-15] - 5/24/2007
Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25] - 11/6/2007
Rep Donnelly, Joe [IN-2] - 10/10/2007
Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14] - 9/14/2007
Rep Edwards, Chet [TX-17] - 6/7/2007
Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] - 5/1/2007
Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] - 12/19/2007
Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 9/7/2007
Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] - 5/1/2007
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 10/15/2007
Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] - 8/2/2007
Rep Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY-20] - 10/15/2007
Rep Gonzalez, Charles A. [TX-20] - 4/23/2008
Rep Gordon, Bart [TN-6] - 6/7/2007
Rep Green, Al [TX-9] - 5/7/2007
Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] - 5/1/2007
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 5/2/2007
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 10/17/2007
Rep Hall, John J. [NY-19] - 10/10/2007
Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17] - 9/5/2007
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] - 5/10/2007
Rep Higgins, Brian [NY-27] - 5/15/2007
Rep Hill, Baron P. [IN-9] - 10/17/2007
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 10/17/2007
Rep Hinojosa, Ruben [TX-15] - 2/7/2008
Rep Hodes, Paul W. [NH-2] - 6/5/2008
Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] - 7/10/2007
Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] - 11/6/2007
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 12/13/2007
Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] - 12/19/2007
Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] - 8/2/2007
Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 5/15/2007
Rep Jefferson, William J. [LA-2] - 5/22/2007
Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] - 11/14/2007
Rep Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [GA-4] - 5/15/2007
Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs [OH-11] - 5/24/2007
Rep Kagen, Steve [WI-8] - 5/15/2007
Rep Kanjorski, Paul E. [PA-11] - 8/2/2007
Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 4/26/2007
Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1] - 3/31/2008
Rep Kildee, Dale E. [MI-5] - 5/1/2007
Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 5/15/2007
Rep Klein, Ron [FL-22] - 9/14/2007
Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] - 6/21/2007
Rep Langevin, James R. [RI-2] - 3/14/2008
Rep LaTourette, Steven C. [OH-14] - 9/26/2007
Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 11/14/2007
Rep Lipinski, Daniel [IL-3] - 10/1/2007
Rep LoBiondo, Frank A. [NJ-2] - 12/13/2007
Rep Loebsack, David [IA-2] - 7/23/2007
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-16] - 4/2/2008
Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] - 11/15/2007
Rep Lynch, Stephen F. [MA-9] - 5/1/2007
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] - 10/10/2007
Rep Markey, Edward J. [MA-7] - 2/27/2008
Rep Marshall, Jim [GA-8] - 6/5/2007
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [CA-5] - 12/4/2007
Rep McCarthy, Carolyn [NY-4] - 12/11/2007
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] - 9/19/2007
Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. [MI-11] - 3/13/2008
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 9/19/2007
Rep McHugh, John M. [NY-23] - 5/22/2007
Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] - 10/3/2007
Rep McNerney, Jerry [CA-11] - 11/14/2007
Rep McNulty, Michael R. [NY-21] - 12/19/2007
Rep Miller, Brad [NC-13] - 10/30/2007
Rep Miller, George [CA-7] - 5/1/2007
Rep Mollohan, Alan B. [WV-1] - 4/26/2007
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] - 5/7/2007
Rep Murphy, Christopher S. [CT-5] - 3/31/2008
Rep Murphy, Patrick J. [PA-8] - 7/27/2007
Rep Murphy, Tim [PA-18] - 8/4/2007
Rep Murtha, John P. [PA-12] - 6/21/2007
Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] - 9/5/2007
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] - 12/11/2007
Rep Oberstar, James L. [MN-8] - 7/18/2007
Rep Obey, David R. [WI-7] - 7/10/2007
Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 10/30/2007
Rep Ortiz, Solomon P. [TX-27] - 11/6/2007
Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. [NJ-6] - 10/30/2007
Rep Pastor, Ed [AZ-4] - 9/5/2007
Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] - 12/4/2007
Rep Perlmutter, Ed [CO-7] - 10/10/2007
Rep Price, David E. [NC-4] - 12/19/2007
Rep Rahall, Nick J., II [WV-3] - 7/27/2007
Rep Reyes, Silvestre [TX-16] - 11/14/2007
Rep Rodriguez, Ciro D. [TX-23] - 10/30/2007
Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4] - 5/22/2007
Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] - 2/7/2008
Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [CA-34] - 10/30/2007
Rep Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch [MD-2] - 9/19/2007
Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] - 5/7/2007
Rep Salazar, John T. [CO-3] - 5/9/2007
Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] - 5/1/2007
Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-47] - 10/3/2007
Rep Sarbanes, John P. [MD-3] - 7/26/2007
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 5/15/2007
Rep Schwartz, Allyson Y. [PA-13] - 7/27/2007
Rep Scott, David [GA-13] - 10/3/2007
Rep Scott, Robert C. "Bobby" [VA-3] - 7/25/2007
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] - 12/4/2007
Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] - 9/18/2007
Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] - 10/10/2007
Rep Shuler, Heath [NC-11] - 7/10/2007
Rep Sires, Albio [NJ-13] - 2/7/2008
Rep Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [NY-28] - 7/12/2007
Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4] - 4/23/2007
Rep Solis, Hilda L. [CA-32] - 5/9/2007
Rep Souder, Mark E. [IN-3] - 6/25/2008
Rep Space, Zachary T. [OH-18] - 6/5/2007
Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] - 9/14/2007
Rep Stupak, Bart [MI-1] - 5/8/2007
Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13] - 5/1/2007
Rep Thompson, Bennie G. [MS-2] - 5/24/2007
Rep Tierney, John F. [MA-6] - 6/15/2007
Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] - 12/13/2007
Rep Udall, Mark [CO-2] - 12/4/2007
Rep Udall, Tom [NM-3] - 9/19/2007
Rep Velazquez, Nydia M. [NY-12] - 11/6/2007
Rep Visclosky, Peter J. [IN-1] - 4/24/2007
Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] - 5/2/2007
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] - 9/18/2007
Rep Watt, Melvin L. [NC-12] - 2/7/2008
Rep Waxman, Henry A. [CA-30] - 3/14/2008
Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] - 12/19/2007
Rep Welch, Peter [VT] - 10/17/2007
Rep Wexler, Robert [FL-19] - 5/10/2007
Rep Wilson, Charles A. [OH-6] - 6/7/2007
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 9/10/2007
Rep Wu, David [OR-1] - 12/4/2007
Rep Yarmuth, John A. [KY-3] - 8/3/2007
 
Look up your Representative
Are they signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 1992?
Did they vote for The Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000?

YOU CAN HELP! Please get your local and/or national religious, labor, human rights, student or community organization to endorse this legislation. This is part of a national outreach and popular education campaign to take back our economy and remake it with a human face.
Also, contact your congressional representatives to let them know how you feel about the importance of protecting the human rights of workers around the world.