Hot Topics in Worker Rights
In 1996, President Clinton brought together a diverse group of industry, labor, human rights, and consumer leaders to the White House to discuss concerns about apparel industry conditions worldwide. The National Consumers League was part of that group, along with the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, UNITE, Liz Claiborne, NIKE, and several others. Clinton charged the group with the task of working together to come up with a way to assure consumers that they were not buying clothing or footwear made in sweatshops.
Two decades ago, in 1987, a Congressional investigation of the magazine sales industry uncovered a track record of abuse, fraud, and indentured servitude involving its often teenage or young adult salespersons. Nothing came of it.
Butter-flavored microwave popcorn has long been a consumer favorite, but the chemical that gives it that buttery flavor – diacetyl – has caused serious lung impairment, known as “popcorn lung,” so called because many cases have occurred among factory workers who make the product.