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Presentation and discussion of the global garment industry and its labor held March 17

BOONE—A presentation and discussion of the global garment industry and the exploitation of labor will be held Thursday, March 17, at 7 p.m. in Price Lake Room in Appalachian State University’s Plemmons Student Union. The presentation is free and open to the public.

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The presentation titled “Undressing the Global Garment Industry Sweatshop Labor and Global Justice” will be informational, but will also focus on ways to be responsible consumers who promote economic justice through their purchasing power.

Noi Supalai, an ex-garment worker and labor union organizer in the Eagle Speed garment factory in Bangkok, Thailand, and Morgan Currier, a national organizer for the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), will speak about their personal experiences in garment factories and labor union efforts to improve safety and health standards, promote fair wages and secure the rights of workers in one of the most exploitative industries in the world. Most of the clothes manufactured in Thailand’s garment industry are for markets in Europe and the United States.

The conditions of sweatshop manufacturing around the world were brought to the attention of many people in 2013 when an eight-story building housing several garment factories collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing over 1,100 workers. Garments destined to 15 international clothing outlets were found in the rubble, yet none of those international companies have compensated workers and the families who were victims of the collapse.

While the Dhaka tragedy brought momentary light to the working conditions in these factories in Bangladesh, factories in Thailand, Indonesia, China, Honduras and elsewhere continue to operate under deplorable conditions in the shadows of the global economic system.

The presentation is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the departments of Anthropology, Geography and Planning, Sociology and Sustainable Development, the Global Studies Program, and the offices of Civic Engagement and the Quality Enhancement Plan.