NLC’s NEW PUSH: For the first time, the National Labor Committee is asking domestic manufacturers and retailers using sweatshops in Bangladesh to continue using those facilities and to help implement changes that will secure workers’ rights. In the past three months, 1,000 of the city’s 3,400 garment factories have closed due to the economic decline and the Sept. 11 attacks. Bangladesh is the third largest exporter of apparel to the U.S. In some sweatshops, workers have been earning 1.6 cents for each baseball cap they help make. The hats retail for about $20 in the U.S., even though they clear Customs with an estimated value of $1.23 per hat, according to NLC. To try to eliminate seven-day workweeks, forced overtime, unsanitary work conditions and the mistreatment of employees, NLC supporters and a few Bangladeshi sweatshop workers will start a three-week tour visiting college campuses, local unions and religious groups this afternoon. The aim is to urge students to ask their colleges to keep jobs in Bangladesh, a secular nation that has offered its support to the U.S. in its military campaign in Afghanistan.
ADVANTAGE CAPRIATI: Jennifer Capriati, the top-ranked player on the women’s pro tennis tour, has extended her endorsement deal with Fila for another three years. The deal was completed Monday at Fila’s flagship in Milan. Capriati, 25, signed with the brand in 1999 and her contract would have expired in January. As part of the deal, Fila will buy Capriati a new Ferrari for being number one. Fila has a licensing and endorsement deal with Ferrari.