The fruit of over a decade of organizing with the Fedotrazonas union in the Dominican Republic and campus communities in the US with United Students Against Sweatshops — a struggle in which many past and present members of UAW 2865 have participated,Alta Gracia is a groundbreaking apparel company that works with independent labor rights watchdog, Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) to pay a “living wage.” Based on a cost of living study conducted by the WRC, this wage enables Alta Gracia employees to support their families with dignity, covering food, housing, healthcare and education costs for their children.
The ripple effect in the community will make your spirits bright: new businesses have opened across from the factory, construction has picked up, and Alta Gracia workers are going back to school on the weekend to continue where poverty had forced them to abandon studies.
Alta Gracia’s business model defies the age-old “race to the bottom” myth that unions and living wages are at odds with good business, and embraces respect and community development as the bottom line (Read more about Alta Gracia’s business model in the New York Times: ).
Currently, Alta Gracia apparel is only available at bookstores at UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz. Help bring sweat free apparel to all UC campuses, sign the Alta Gracia commitment pledge here!
Beyond joining the effort to bring sweat free apparel to all UC campus book stores, the Alta Gracia model needs your support to grow! Help educate the campus community. We invite you to incorporate Alta Gracia into relevant course material. Alta Gracia organizers can easily set up “Virtual Worker Tours” — Skype video conferences — where students and community members can hear directly from Fedotrazonas workers in real time about their historic struggle to establish a union in a Free Trade Zone, and hear the impact that living wages are making in their community. Host a tour in class or publicly on campus. Bookstore managers need to hear from the community that campus supporters want them to order more living-wage union-made apparel and tell the story of workers’ rights in apparel to consumers. Click here if you would like more information about course material or a Skype video tour.