San Francisco, CA–The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously this week to pass the historic Sweatfree San Francisco Ordinance, which will ensure that the hundreds of millions of city tax dollars spent on purchasing every year will be used to support fair and just labor practices. A coalition of nearly 60 community groups, including UNITE HERE, Global Exchange, Asian Law Caucus, Chinese Progressive Association, Progressive Jewish Alliance and Sierra Club, among others, had worked together to set the highest standard in the country for sweatfree legislation.
The San Francisco Sweatfree Ordinance was introduced by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Tom Ammiano and co-sponsored by seven other supervisors. It includes a sweat-free code of conduct to be signed by all city contractors, subcontractors and vendors. The code of conduct mandates that these companies’ workers are paid a living wage, adjusted by labor market, and provided with safe working conditions and a non-discriminatory environment. The code of conduct also bans child labor, and guarantees the fundamental right of workers to join an independent union. In order to ensure that good intentions are translated into good results, the city will include funding for enforcement as well as for a non-profit, independent monitor in its annual budget. The law also requires that a sweatfree advisory group examine ways to provide compliance incentives for San Francisco garment manufacturers. The ordinance was passed unanimously by the Board’s Finance Committee two weeks ago, and will face a final reading and vote on September 6.