City bans sweatshop products.North Olmsted, Ohio North Olmsted is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 34,113. History
The entire area containing North Olmsted was originally part of the Connecticut Western Reserve.
As globalization globalization
Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation speeds up, many communities are considering selective-purchasing laws. These suspend city purchases from corporations that produce goods in oppressive countries such as Burma, Indonesia, and China.
But a blue-collar suburb of Cleveland went the rest of the country one better when it adopted a sweeping socially responsible purchasing policy. In February, North Olmsted North Olmsted (ŏm`stĕd), city (1990 pop. 34,204), Cuyahoga co., NE Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland; inc. as a city 1951. It is mainly residential; the chief industry produces printed materials. The first U.S. , population 35,000, became the first city in the nation to ban municipal purchases of products made in sweatshops.
The ban knows no borders--it even covers products made in the United States--and it allows no exceptions.
"Government should not be party to the exploitation of children and adults anywhere in the world," says North Olmsted Mayor Ed Boyle, who thought up the ordinance. "Whether it's children making soccer balls in Pakistan or women making Gap T-shirts in Guatemala, our democracy must not support those in-humane practices. And the best way is not to buy from sweatshops. Period."
While similar policies rarely go beyond the proclamation An act that formally declares to the general public that the government has acted in a particular way. A written or printed document issued by a superior government executive, such as the president or governor, which sets out such a declaration by the government. stage, North Olmsted is aggressively enforcing its new law. City vendors must sign a document attesting that the products North Olmsted purchases, rents, or leases were not made using child or forced labor, which includes prison and indentured in·den·ture
1. A contract binding one party into the service of another for a specified term. Often used in the plural.
a. A document in duplicate having indented edges.
b. or bonded labor Noun 1. bonded labor - a practice in which employers give high-interest loans to workers whose entire families then labor at low wages to pay off the debt; the practice is illegal in the United States .
The vendors must also guarantee that the products were made in factories where employees are not required to work more than forty-eight hours a week, where the workplace is free of physical sexual, and verbal harassment Ask a Lawyer
Country: United States of America
I recently moved to nev.from abut have been going back to ca. every 2 to 3 weeks for med. , where employees are allowed to complain about conditions and to form unions of their choosing, where the working environment is safe and healthy, and where employees are provided with wages and benefits sufficient to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical care for their families.
If a vendor is found to have provided false information, pleads ignorance, or refuses to comply with the city's inquiries, the city will cancel the contact.
The first culprit? NORTH OLMSTED POLICE patches on the sleeves of officers' uniforms made under questionable conditions in Taiwan.
"We tried to cover everything," explains Eric Hensal, Mayor Boyle's assistant. "Some places pass these laws, but they just want to send a message. They don't really want to be bound by them. Our goal was to create an ordinance without loopholes."
North Olmsted's new ordinance caught the attention of fair-trade and human-rights activists. Susan Cowell, an international vice president of the Union of Needletrade, Industrial, and Textile Employees (UNITE), who serves on the executive council of the AFL-CIO's industrial-union department, attended the signing ceremony A signing ceremony is a ceremony in which a bill passed by a legislature is signed (approved) by an executive, thus becoming a law.
Modern-day signing ceremonies are derived from ceremonies that occurred when the British monarch gave Royal Assent to acts of Parliament. .
"North Olmsted has taken an important and innovative stand in the fight against sweatshop sweatshop: see sweating system. labor," says Cowell. "We are hopeful that this will become a model for other cities throughout the country."
It already is. Bedford Heights Bedford Heights, city (1990 pop. 12,131), Cuyahoga co., N Ohio, a residential suburb of Cleveland; inc. 1951. , another Cleveland suburb, has already passed an anti-sweatshop ordinance. Five more area communities are preparing to do so. And the city has received inquiries about the new law from as far away as Australia.
"I had my worries at first. We're a small city and I didn't know if we were the ones to take a lead on this," explains Mayor Boyle. "But it's worked. Things are starting to move. We're reaching Americans who think like I do-that this country is supposed to be against exploitation. If there's one thing that the government of this country, from Washington right down to North Olmsted, ought to be against, it's sweatshops."