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Wobblies Ask: "Who Put The 'B' On Your Baseball Cap?"

By Bren Miosek - The Freeman's Journal, Friday, August 27, 2004

COOPERSTOWN - Industrial Workers of the World members Paul Poulos of Hartwick Greg Giorgio of Altamont and Martin Manly, of Schenectady paraded through' the streets of Cooperstown Village on Monday, August 16 in an attempt to raise the public's awareness of international sweatshops and how they're affecting the United States of America.

"We're part of a local chapter representing the IWW Anti-Sweatshop Committee," said Poulos during a phone interview last week. "We came to Cooperstown, because we figured we'd be able to raise public awareness, through baseball."

Donning sandwich signs adorned with' anti-sweatshop sentiments, Poulos, Giorgio and Manly approached 100 people wearing baseball caps on Monday and asked theta to examine the inside, to see where their hat was made.

"We checked out 100 hats and not a single one was made in the United States of America. Most of them came from either Vietnam, Bangladesh or China," said Poulos.

Poulos went on to explain that there are people working in certain parts of the world where human rights are not recognized - in horrible; unsafe conditions - yet the American people continue to support their employers by buying their products.

"By supporting international sweatshops we're lowering the standards of our own. country," said Poulos. "But there to something that can be done about it and it can start at home and in the schools." Aside from having parents, pay more attention to the products they're buying and where they're being made, Poulos pointed out that student athletes can get involved as well.

"With fall sports starting up in a few weeks, high-school athletes should ask their coaches to check where the equipment 'was made," he said.

Poulos went on to say that American families aren't the only ones to blame, and that Major League. Baseball is just as responsible.

"In order for someone in a sweatshop to put a major league baseball team logo on a hat, someone must be giving them permission," he said.

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Paul Poulos, Greg Giorgio, and Martin Manly get the word out about sweatshops and how they affect our economy.