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~Wellesley College Students To Hold "Sweatshop Simulation" Workshop~

For immediate release:
February 18, 2004

CONTACT:
Arlie Corday,
781-283-3321


WELLESLEY, Mass. -- The Wellesley College Association of Labor Rights Activists (WALRA), a student group, will hold its second annual "Sweatshop Simulation" workshop Wednesday, Feb. 25, from 7 am-7 pm in Billings Hall, room 100, on the Wellesley, Mass., campus. The event is free and open to the public.

"The sweatshop simulation involves a group of about 25 students who have volunteered to work for 12 straight hours in sweatshop conditions that we'll recreate, including intense noise, strict socialization rules, low wages, intense heat and hourly quotas," explained Liz Mandeville, a Wellesley senior and president of WALRA. "We'll be producing bags that are stamped to say 'this bag was made in a sweatshop.' Workers cannot socialize, but they can answer questions about how they are feeling, whether they can imagine doing this kind of work everyday, etc."

Last year, WALRA's goals were to raise awareness of sweatshop conditions and to encourage the college to join the Workers' Rights Consortium (WRC), including a commitment not to sell sweatshop-made clothes and to offer only fair trade coffee in the dining halls. These goals were achieved.

"This year, our goal is to encourage student groups to switch over to only selling fair trade shirts for their fundraisers," Mandeville said. One chief supplier of these shirts has already agreed to make fair trade shirts available.

"Another goal we'd like to achieve this year is to get the word out to a larger audience, first, to the general public about the realities of sweatshop labor, and, second, to the activist community to say that this is a strategy that works, and we'd like to help them organize their own simulations," Mandeville said.

For more information about the "Sweatshop Simulation" workshop, call 781-283-1016.

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  • Date Modified: February 18, 2004
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