by Patrick Yarker
Norwich No Sweat celebrated International Women's Day outside the city's Gap store, petitioning against sweatshop labour and for independent trade union rights for garment workers.
People were glad to hear about the campaign, and in particular its focus on building solidarity with workers around the world. Several new contacts for the campaign were made.
The action ended with a bizarre conversation inside the store between a No Sweat activist and the store-manager, who admitted that she had been told by her bosses not to answer any questions. Did she know where the item of clothing had been made? No comment. Did she know how much the workers had been paid to make it, how long they had worked or whether any of them were children? No comment. Did she know how much profit her company had made last year? Instead of a comment she pointed out a stack of postcards beside the till which direct customers to Gap's website. "Thank you for your interest in Gap Inc.'s business practices Visit gapinc.com and click on 'Social Responsibility' If you do not find the answers to your questions on the website, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Freepost GAP."
Did workers in her store belong to a union? No. Oops: perhaps that should have been another "no comment". Either way, we have another slogan to use outside the store and a new demand to put: Trade union rights for all Gap workers!