Sweatshop Initiative is a two-step approach to assuring that Catholic
school uniforms in the Archdiocese of Newark are not made in sweatshops
or by child labor.
goals of this program are:
1. To ensure that Catholic school uniforms in the Archdiocese
of Newark are not manufactured in sweatshops or by child labor.
2. To teach children about Catholic social teaching,
particularly what the Church teaches about the rights of workers.
3. To teach children about sweatshops and child labor.
The first step of the initiative was to form a task force, comprised
of the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, the Director of the
Human Concerns Office, and representatives from the U.S. Department
of Labor, the New Jersey Department of Labor, and the labor union,
UNITE (Union of Neddletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees).
This partnership between the Church, government and labor is known
as the Sweatshop Task Force.
Following the formation of the Sweatshop Task Force, information
was gathered by the school principals regarding the uniform suppliers
and the manufacturers used by the suppliers. Then the manufacturers
are checked by the Federal and State Departments of Labor for
compliance with fair labor, safety and health regulations.
Since the announcement of the Archdiocese Sweatshop Initiative,
in October 1997, an annual meeting is held with the vendors supplying
uniforms to the Catholic schools. Vendors are asked to provide
us with the names and locations of the manufacturers they use.
With the assistance of the Departments of Labor, the union UNITE,
the National Labor Committee and others, an investigation is made
of the manufacturers.
Teaching Resources on Sweatshops and Child Labor
The second step was the development of Teaching Resources
on Sweatshops and Child Labor. Printed materials about Catholic
social teaching and the issues of sweatshops and child labor,
along with a video were distributed to each school in the Archdiocese
of Newark. These materials are a resource for teachers to integrate
into areas of curriculum, such as religion and social studies.
purpose of these materials are to help the children:
(1) learn about Catholic social teaching, particularly related
to work and workers rights
(2) learn about sweatshops and child labor
(3) take action in behalf of exploited workers, especially