Julie Su for Sweatshop Watch
US attorney Julie Su, Litigation Director for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, is a co-founder of Sweatshop Watch, a California-based organization committed to:
- eliminating the exploitation that occurs in sweatshops;
- eliminating the illegal and inhumane conditions that characterize sweatshops;
- encouraging corporations to accept responsibility for the places where their products are made.
Sweatshop Watch is a coalition of labor, community, civil rights, immigrant rights, and women's, religious and student organizations, and individuals.
Over the past decade, Sweatshop Watch, in collaboration with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, has brought cases on behalf of hundreds of low-wage, immigrant, and often undocumented women in the garment industry, against major corporations who use sweatshops to manufacture the garments they sell. These workers are all Latino or Asian immigrants.
They have launched several public policy advocacy campaigns including ones to hold manufacturers and retailers responsible for the working conditions of the women and men who make the clothes they sell.
Su, a graduate of Stanford and Harvard universities, became a champion for the rights of immigrant sweatshop employees after defending 72 Thai garment workers who were discovered working behind barbed wire and under armed guard in 1995 following a raid on a California sweatshop. Su represented them in their successful fight for compensation from the manufacturers and retailers for whom they sewed and in obtaining legal immigration status in the U.S.
The official citation recognizes Su and Sweatshop Watch, "for giving visibility and voice to the economic and political rights of migrant and undocumented workers in the United States."