April 14, 1997

The White House at Work

Monday, April 14, 1997
Sweatshop Announcement / FMLA Radio Address

Today at the White House, the President announces a new Apparel Industry agreement to curb the use of sweatshop labor in the goods we buy:

Last August, the President brought together apparel and footwear companies, labor, consumer, human rights, and religious groups to discuss ways to curb sweatshops abuses.

Today, this Apparel Industry Partnership returns to the White House with an industry-led agreement that will significantly reduce the use of sweatshop labor for the long-term. It includes:

A Workplace Code of Conduct that companies will voluntarily adopt, and require contractors to adopt -- including a maximum workweek, a requirement that employers pay the minimum or prevailing wage, and a prohibition on child labor.

A special apparel industry association to make sure companies live up to the Code, to develop ways to share this information with consumers (such as labeling), and to expand participation to more companies.

In his weekly Radio Address, the President announces expansion of Family Leave for Federal employees, and discusses this week,s Early Childhood Conference:

New research shows that how a child develops in the first three years of life helps to determine how that child does later in school and in life. To help parents and care-givers benefit from this research, the President and the First Lady will bring together researchers, parents and other experts for the White House Conference on Early Childhood Development and Learning: What New Research on the Brain Tells Us About Our Youngest Children, this Thursday, April 17.

To help parents raise stronger families, the President calls on Congress to expand Family and Medical Leave -- allowing workers time off for parent-teacher conferences, to take a child to the pediatrician, to find child care, or to care for an elderly relative.

The President asks all federal agencies to make expanded Family and Medical Leave available to their workers immediately.

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