A Brief Explanation
New Era produces baseball caps for some 400 colleges and university as well as professional sports leagues. The workers, represented by CWA Local 14177, decided to go on strike on July 16th, 2001, the week that inflated production quotas would be imposed on the workforce, resulting in the average worker losing $4/hour. Weeks before this move, the union overwhelming rejected this provision as part of a contract offer, and management walked away from the bargaining table.
From CEO Chris Koch down to the plant supervisors, New Era management has a horribly destructive anti-union mentality. The management will not bargain in good faith with the union, actively tries to bust the union, and refuses to acknowledge abysmal health and safety standards at the plant. A preliminary report by the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), several Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports, two as recent at July 2001, and a collection of decisions by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) indicate that New Era's CEO, Chris Koch, is a sweatshop employer.
United Students Against Sweatshops affiliates are standing up across the country in support of these striking workers. Scroll all the way down -- here you will find information and materials to help you start and sustain your campus solidarity campaign.
Our recent National Day of Action in Solidarity with New Era Workers!
- Our National Call To Action - Call To Action(word doc.)
- Report Back on Day of Action - compiled by Students at Indiana University, Ohio State University, Central Michigan University, and many others! - Reportback(word doc.)
- Contact USAS to get started! - Students and Staff(word doc.)
- Contact New Era Management with your demands and the Striking Workers with your support - Company and Workers(word doc.)
- A delegation of 6 USASistas traveled to Buffalo in March to investigate. This is their report - USAS New Era Report
- The Worker Rights Consortium has issued a preliminary report and a legal chronology - WRC Factory Reports
- A Good Summary of the WRC Report - Summary(word doc.)
- Talking Points compiled by USAS organizer - Talking Points(word doc.)
- Modify this Sample Press Release in your own publicity work - Sample Press Release(word doc.)
- Modify these Sample Leaflets for your own campus - Sample Leaflet 1(word doc.) - Sample Leaflet 2(word doc.)
- University of Buffalo SAS created some excellent sample documents for your use: a generic form letter and petition to submit to your school administration, and a generic letter to send to other student groups, soliciting their support - Sample Letter to Administration(word doc.) - Sample Petition of Administration(word doc.) - Sample Letter to Campus Groups(word doc.)
- Antisweatshop activists in Pittsburgh ask city officials and the sports teams they subsidize to support new era workers - you can do this too! - Letter about New Era(word doc.)
Frequently Asked Questions