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Friday, November 19th

Radio Morning Show at KQED with Michael, Joy and Sanjay. Lunch with Global Exchange. In the evening a potluck at New College. So all in all a good day to get into the fascinating world of San Francisco.

Asif Rasheed from Pakistan has to leave us surprisingly, because of an accident in his family. We all feel with him.

Saturday, November 20th

In San Francisco we have a "2 in 1"-demonstration. First, we form a living NO WTO with hundreds of people, - in a break we are get fed by Food Not Bombs, who are (surprise, surprise) not arrested this time -, then we all move towards the fancy looking shop of the Gap. While we are there, no customer pass us by to enter the shop.

The Gap is an industry leader. Owning not only the Gap but Banana Republic and Old Nav. It has become one of the most profitable and fastest-growing clothing retailers in the world. In Saipan - a US territory near Guam, replete with sweatshops - the Gap does the most business of any company on the island. The Gap is importing from contractors in Saipan: shifts run 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and workers sleep behind barbed wire in small barracks.

It is big business. Over the past four years the Gap has imported $ 237 million worth of goods from Saipan - roughly $ 1 billion at retail - making it the largest importer from the island. The Company reported $ 9 billion in revenue for 1998, working with 1,200 suppliers worldwide.

The Gap periodically inspects the factories in Saipan and elsewhere. This had been the result of a grassroots mobilization in 1995. But it puts minimal resources into the monitoring system, and it still refuses to accept responsibility for ensuring that workers are paid the necessary living wage.

In Russia, the Gap pays factory workers just 11 cents/hour and keeps them in slave-like conditions. Workers from Macao contacted the Asia Monitor Resource Center in Hong Kong complaining of abusive treatment by factory managers, who forced them to work excessive overtime and cheated them out of their pay. A delegation from the National Labor Committee in June 1999 reported that Honduran Gap factory workers are subjected to forced pregnancy tests, forced overtime, exceedingly high production goals, locked bathrooms, and wages of $4/day, which only meet 1/3 of their basic needs. The workers said that if they tried to organize a union or even become more informed of their rights, they would be fired. They had never heard of Gap's code of conduct. In Indonesia, 700 workers went on strike in July, 1997 protesting miserable wages and the factory management's refusal to recognize their independent union. In September this year, 835 members of the Indonesian Prosperity Trade Union (SBSI) have been fired by PT Aneka Garmentama, a clothing manufacturer in North Jakarta, which produces for Gap.

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