FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Date: March 27, 2003

        Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716


Week of anti-sweatshop events planned at UIS


SPRINGFIELD The University of Illinois at Springfield chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops, an international movement that works to promote fair labor conditions and workers’ rights, will sponsor several events in observance of National Action Week -- Monday, March 31, through Thursday, April 3 -- culminating in a rally on Thursday evening.

UIS has one of the newest chapters of USAS, which works to ensure that clothing and other goods bearing college and university names are made under fair labor conditions. All campus events presented during National Action Week are free and open to the public.

On Monday, March 31, a daylong Question-and-Answer Forum will be held in the UIS cafeteria, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center. Plastic eggs containing information about USAS and the Worker Rights Consortium will be distributed beginning at 11:45 a.m., followed from noon to 1 p.m. by a formal discussion session. An informational question-and-answer booth will remain in the cafeteria all week.

On Tuesday, April 1, short films about sweatshops will be shown throughout the day in the cafeteria.

On Wednesday, April 2, a sweatshop fashion show and skits are planned for noon to 1 p.m. in the cafeteria.

These activities lead up to Thursday’s rally, which begins at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. Members of the UIS administration are scheduled to speak. Refreshments will be served.


Sweatshops are factories that exploit workers through low wages and harsh, often unsafe working conditions. UIS student Hytham Kilani explained, “Ultimately, we are using our power as students to affect the larger industry that thrives on sweatshops. By making students aware of their power and showing them how and where they can use it, USAS and WRC are striving to change existing relationships.”

            USAS works in conjunction with the WRC to assist in enforcing manufacturing Codes of Conduct adopted by colleges and universities. These codes are designed to ensure that factories producing clothing and other goods bearing college and university names respect the basic rights of their workers. More than 100 colleges and universities, including the University of Illinois campuses at Chicago and Urbana-Champaign, are currently affiliated with the WRC.

For more information, contact Kilani by e-mail at