Students Across Canada Run Sweatshop-Free Orientation

OTTAWA, Aug. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Over 50 students' unions across the country have purchased more than 250,000 items from ethical manufacturers through the Canadian Federation of Students' sweatshop-free materials service. The success of the program showcases the possibilities of student-run, not-for-profit services in promoting fairly traded, environmentally conscious, and union-made materials for use on campuses during orientation week and throughout the academic year.

The members of the Canadian Federation of Students created a not-for-profit buying consortium in order to combat the use of sweatshop materials on campus and support products from union and cooperatively organized workplaces.

"Students are at the forefront in fighting for fair trade and workers' rights," said Dave Molenhuis, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "By working together, students have created an alternative to sweatshop materials on campus."

Students across North America have recently had several successes in combating the use of sweatshop materials on campus. In late 2009, the United Students Against Sweatshops and the Canadian Federation of Students ran a successful corporate boycott aimed at Russell Athletic, a manufacturer of campus apparel. After Russell Athletic closed down a factory in Honduras after workers successfully unionized, students mobilized to cancel multi-million dollar college and university apparel contracts leading to Russell reopening the plant, rehiring the workers, and recognizing the union.

"We are taking it upon ourselves to ensure that workers' rights are supported and upheld," said Molenhuis. "By harnessing the collective purchasing power of students and their unions across Canada, we have made it both simple and cost-effective for college and university campuses everywhere to be sweatshop-free."

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more that one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: For further information: David Molenhuis, National Chairperson: 613-232-7394

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