BY ISN STAFF | October 27, 2014
Earlier this month faculty at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Walsh School of Foreign Service released a new report looking at the progress of the Alta Gracia apparel initiative. Alta Gracia is living-wage union made apparel produced in the Dominican Republic which is currently sold on over 800 college campuses around the country, including Georgetown University and a number of other Jesuit universities. The new Report analyzes the factory’s growing success; documents its impact on the lives of workers, their families and the local community; and contrasts this model with failures in the apparel industry’s current system of factory labor codes and monitoring.
According to John Kline, Ph.D. and Edward Soule Ph.D., the Georgetown University faculty who are conducting the ongoing research, the Alta Gracia Project is a multi-year effort to document the development and eventual success or failure of Alta Gracia, the only apparel factory in the developing world to:
- pay workers a “living wage” (over 300% more than the legal minimum wage);
- recognize a legitimate union and negotiate a collective bargaining agreement;
- maintain high safety and health standards;
- all verified by an independent labor rights organization.
The latest Research Report, Alta Gracia: Four Years and Counting also includes a narrated power-point slideshow (below) that is designed for use in classes or organization meetings. More information on the ongoing research can be found here.