Teresa Cheng, first became involved in labor rights activism at the University of Southern California, where she led an anti-sweatshop campaign that culminated in the occupation of the university president’s office. As a national organizer for United Students Against Sweatshops, she trained and coordinated a network of student labor organizations across the country that waged several successful campaigns in solidarity with unions to demand that global corporations respect workers’ rights.
One of Cheng’s first efforts was to mobilize a national campaign to pressure Russell Athletics, which produces college-licensed apparel, to rehire 1,200 Honduran workers who it had fired after they voted to unionize. USAS also picketed the National Basketball Association (NBA) finals in Orlando, Fla., and Los Angeles to protest the NBA’s licensing agreement with Russell. In addition, students distributed leaflets inside Sports Authority stores and sent Twitter messages to customers of the Dick’s Sporting Goods chain, urging them to boycott Russell products. Cheng helped arrange a letter, signed by 65 members of Congress, that voiced “grave concern about reports of severe violations” of workers’ rights at Russell. Russell agreed to rehire the workers and open a new plant in Honduras as a unionized factory and also pledged not to fight efforts by workers to unionize at the company’s seven other factories in the country. Working through USAS, Cheng helped mobilize student activists on about 100 campuses to persuade their universities to sever licensing agreements with Russell.
Following her tenure at USAS, she lived in Honduras, working with the Central General de Trabajadores national trade union to forge a global alliance of workers at Adidas contract factories. A dozen garment worker unions, from Honduras to Bangladesh, have now formed the International Union League for Brand Responsibility, demanding that German sportswear giant Adidas bargain directly with the subcontracted workers who sew its products and guarantee living wages, safe factories and stable jobs. This month the campaign heated up, with Adidas contract factory workers staging coordinated protests from Jakarta to Bangalore to San Salvador. 
"The 99% Spring"
United Students Against Sweatshops
United Students Against Sweatshops National Organizers, 2011-2012 School Year.
- Vicko Alvarez, University of Chicago ’10
- Teresa Cheng, University of Southern California ’09
- George Robertson, University of Washington Seattle ’09
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.
- Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?
- This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.
Those invited, on Facebook included Teresa Cheng.