Free trade under NAFTA and the WTO has been devastating for working people in New York and throughout the world. A majority of US voters believe our model for trade needs to be negotiated. Now we have a real opportunity to change course.

The TRADE Act is a fair trade legislation that sets new rules for our global economy that benefit workers and family farmers, strengthen our economy, and safeguard our environment, consumer safety, public health, and democratic rights.

The TRADE Act was introduced with over 50 original cosponsors. It is supported nationally by a wide range of progressive organizations including the AFL-CIO, Change to Win, Sierra Club, National Farmers Union, United Methodists, Public Citizen, United Steelworkers, Machinists, Teamsters, Communication Workers of America, UNITE HERE, Friends of the Earth, National Family Farm Coalition, Citizens Trade Campaign and many others. Please voice your support for this important legislation.

Free Trade Agreements
Faced with a growing public outcry against NAFTA style free trade, the Bush Administration has tried to push trade agreements country by country. These bilateral FTAs do not steer away from the model of trade that devalues workers’ rights, environmental standards, public health, and human rights.

The Bush Administration’s attempt to push these FTAs in undemocratic ways through Fast Track expired in 2007. Rep. Peter King (D-3) is the only current NY Member of Congress to vote in favor for the original Fast Track Trade Bill (HR 3005).

These FTAs are an ending point to the Bush Administration – not a starting point for the next! With a new Administration and Congress, we can stop the passage of these unfair FTAs. And we can move an alternative global vision forward.

Colombia FTA
The NYCTC is working hard to oppose the passage of the NAFTA-expansion into Colombia. See more on the proposed FTA and its impact on labor and human rights, the environment, and democratic processes.

Panama Free Trade Agreement
Korea Free Trade Agreement
FTAs in Negotiation

No Sweat Campaign
The Obama Jacket
The Obama Jacket
All the controversy over the President’s appearance on a billboard in Time Square seems to center around whether the President’s image can or should be used for commercials. But did you know that Weatherproof’s So-called “Obama Jacket” Could have been made by Sweatshop Workers Paid 27 cents an hour in Vietnam?

A Weatherproof jacket exactly like the one advertised retails for $250 in Macy’s and is currently on sale for half price. The Weatherproof jacket was sewn in Vietnam by workers afforded few human and worker rights protections and paid just 27 cents an hour.

Sweatshop Wages in Vietnam
27 cents an hour
$2.16 a day (8 hours)
$12.99 a week (48 hours)
$56.29 a month
$675.48 a year

The Weatherproof Garment Company has a history of sweatshop production, including having made jackets in Burma, which remains under military dictatorship. Currently it appears that most Weatherproof garments are made in China, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bangladesh.

Cambodian garment workers earn just 24 cents an hour and $11.52 a week. In Bangladesh, garment workers earn as little as 11 ½ to 17 cents an hour. In the Shanghai area on China’s eastern coastline, where Weatherproof jackets are sewn, conditions and wages are somewhat better than they are in the south of China. Near Shanghai, workers sewing Weatherproof jackets could be earning a minimum wage of 86 to 94 cents an hour.

Shipping records show Weatherproof leather jackets made in China entering the U.S. with a total production cost of $39.28 per leather jacket, which then retails in Macy’s for $395 to $450. This means that Weatherproof’s mark-up on its leather jackets is anywhere from 900 to 1048 percent!

In order to hide their production sites from independent inspection, Weatherproof refuses to publicly release the names and addresses of the offshore factories they use to make their garments. At this point, we know of only two specific factories:

* Rugao Yiren Dress Co. Ltd.
South End of the Station
Linzi Town, Rugao City
Jiangzu Province, China
(Produces Weatherproof men’s jackets)

* San Lei Fung Garment and Woolen Knitting Factory Ltd.
No. 542 Street 02,
Sangkat Chail Angrele
Meinchey District, Cambodia
(Produces Weatherproof sweaters)

On December 18, 2009, students, community members, labor leaders, and featured guest, Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, gathered outside the SUNYAdministration Building to tell SUNY to STOP using sweatshops to produce campus apparel.Students have been asking SUNY to go sweat-free for the last 10 years, but to date only four campuses have made a real commitment by joining the Worker Rights Consortium and signing on to the Designated Supplier Program. Over the summer the SUNY Chancellor and the SUNY Board of Trustees issued statements calling for the adoption of a statewide sweat-free policy. Yet, we know the only way SUNY will follow through and commit to ending their relationship with sweatshops is if we apply grassroots pressure.

Join us in demanding that SUNY STOP using sweatshops to produce campus apparel. For more information, contact: Jackie Hayes, 518-391-3837 or

NYCTC Director, Brooke Newell with Rev. BillyNYCTC Director Brooke Newell, and Rev. Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping at a Demonstration outside the SUNY administration building