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Former Sweatshop Worker Carmencita Abad tells of the Horrors of Piecework for Profit

For Immediate Release: April 22

Contact:
Rebecca Denton
Theme Year Co-Director
Assistant Professor of Education
Office: (417) 873-7377
E-mail: rdenton@drury.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 22, 2009 — Carmencita “Chie” Abad will present “The Truth about Sweatshops: A Former Sweatshop Worker Speaks Out” on Thursday, April 23 at 11 a.m. in Drury's Stone Chapel.

Abad speaks from personal experience about the hardships endured by millions of workers in sweatshop around the world. These workers often work dozens of hours per week; endure verbal and sometimes physical and sexual abuse to make the clothing on retailer's shelves. They only earn poverty wages, and their efforts to improve their situation are frequently met with repression.

Chie spent six years as a garment worker on the Pacific island of Saipan, a U.S. territory. She endured wretched conditions, frequently working 14-hour shifts in order to meet arbitrary production quotas for her employer, the Sako Corporation, which made clothes for the Gap and other retailers. When she tried to organize a union, Chie was met by fierce resistance from management. She eventually lost her job. She now lives in the U.S., where she educates Americans about the inhumane factory conditions occurring worldwide, including on U.S. soul. Chie was instrumental in forcing 26 major retailers to settle a lawsuit in September 2002 to improve conditions in Saipan.

This event is co-sponsored by the Drury University Diversity Center, Amnesty International and WAVE.

Drury University's 2008-2009 convocation series Entrepreneurship & Innovation focuses on unique and innovative approaches to business, social and environmental issues. This series features the stories of individuals and organizations who apply energy and ingenuity to improve their world.

Events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rebecca Denton at (417) 873-7377, or by e-mail at rdenton@drury.edu, or visit www.drury.edu/convo0809