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No Sweatshops Bucco! Prepares for the 2005 Baseball Season

PNC Park Open House. Pittsburgh, PA ­ March 2, 2005 - CONTACT: Kenneth Miller at 412-241- 1339 or Michelle Gaffey at 412-661-6776 of the Pittsburgh Anti-Sweatshop Community Alliance - [email protected]

Members of the Pittsburgh Anti-Sweatshop Community Alliance will petition, leaflet and talk talk talk to Pirate Fans about sweatshops at PNC Park on March 5. The 2005 baseball season is the 4th for the Best Major League Sweatshop Education in America at PNC Park and the most important year ever for the Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club to step up to bat for basic human rights and fair pay for the workers who sew our Pirate Gear.

Sk Nazma, Maksuda and Robina Akther of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity delivered this testimony to Pittsburghers at Freedom Corner on October 16, 2004. Pittsburgh Pirate Baseball Gear, $27 fitted caps made by American Needle for example, are made in factories where bosses cheat on payroll all the time and workers are made to work 14 hour days 7-days-a-week.

"It is common for our women workers to be forced to work from 8:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week, while being cheated of their overtime pay and even beaten.

"But, as you have already heard, we are not asking for a boycott. We need these jobs. In fact, we desperately need these jobs, since we are a very poor country. But we also demand that the workers be treated as human beings, with their rights respected, and paid a fair wage. And we want the right to organize more than anything else."

These baseball sweatshop manufactures are breaking laws all the time, local wage and hour laws, extortion, assault, and violating standards held by Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international law. Despite violent union busting and fear of firing young women workers throughout countries like Bangladesh are continuing to organize labor unions to protect their rights to gain a future for themselves. The testimony received by members of the Pittsburgh Anti-Sweatshop Community Alliance at Freedom Corner on October 16, 2004 is that workers in Bangladesh want the same things as Pittsburghers, fairness at work and freedom from fear, educational opportunities for themselves and their children, the basic rights guaranteed to every human being on the face of this Earth.

The time for the Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club to "study these issues," "learn more," "consult with the league," and otherwise ignore this reality of their business has past. This baseball team represents our city and the high standards that Pittsburghers have for themselves and everybody else. PASCA is asking the Pittsburgh Pirates to join colleges and universities, cities and states in the initiative to gain "wage disclosure" and "certified payroll" from apparel manufactures sewing the Pirate logo. It's time to demonstrate that the commitment to basic human dignity is at least as important as the protection of copyrights and wage cheats won't be tolerated at factories sewing our 2005 Pirate apparel.

"It's the global economy on steroids" ­ "there is no competition without fair play".