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Friday October 27, 2000

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WRC rep advises Likins to withdraw from FLA

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Empowering workers is the way to end sweatshop labor, Appelbaum says

The Fair Labor Association won't die if the UA withdraws, and the university's withdrawal could encourage the FLA to "rethink its policies," said Richard Appelbaum, Worker Rights Consortium advisory council member.

In his speech to about 40 people at the James E. Rogers College of Law last night, Appelbaum, a sociology professor at University of California at Santa Barbara, presented the WRC's side of monitoring sweatshops and protecting factory workers.

"The only way for workers to secure decent and humane working conditions is to be empowered on their own behalf," Appelbaum said. "The FLA was never set up to protect workers' rights."

The WRC's plan of action is to force information from factories, verify workers' complaints in tandem with local groups and spot check areas with repeated violations and weak infrastructures, he said.

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