India sweatshops

colist-admin at colist-admin at
Mon Jun 4 21:48:24 CDT 2001

From: "Francis X. Tobin" <fxtobin at>

Dear friends/colleagues working on labor rights, globalization, World
Bank, WTO and disaster relief
(please forward as you see fit):

I'm currently travelling in India, working with a group organizing tribal
villagers to fight a series of big dam projects that will destroy dozens
of villages.

Issue #1, disaster relief and the World Bank

People are also concerned about disaster relief related to the earthquake
in India. Apparently, the World Bank is offering "aid" in the form of a
low interest loan to the earthquake area.  One of the ideas activists
here are considering is a campaign to challenge the World Bank to convert
this relief to a grant rather than a loan.  Essentially, the World Bank
is planning to make money on the plight of poor people in a disaster
area, and it seems like an item that could be added to agendas
challenging the many evils of the WB, WTO, etc.

Issue #2  Labor rights

In visiting a number of clothing manufacturers, one of our contacts here
was shown the awful conditions at a plant the makes clothing for AM
PLAYER, that apparently is mostly in California.  The owner said his
other plants were better because the clothing makers send inspectors now
and then (including Tommy Hilfiger).  So, obviously, the US brands taking
some kind of stance on labor rights really makes a difference in working
conditions here in India.  But the owner said that AM PLAYER doesn;t care
about the working conditions.  People here would be interested in some
kind of campaign to get these working conditions improved, perhaps a
combined organizing in India and consumer pressure in the US.

Would people be interested in putting energy into this?  If so, people
here in India would be eager to connect with you, try to figure out
strategies, etc.

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