The 13th Amendment states: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
An increasing number of prisons in the U.S. are run by corporations, using their prisoners as workers and selling their labor to corporations. Federal safety and health standards do not protect prison labor, nor do the National Labor Relations Board policies. The corporations do not even have to pay minimum wage.
“J.C. Penney, Victoria’s Secret, IBM, Toys R Us and TWA are among the US corporations that have profited by employing prisoners. Put together long mandatory sentences for minor drug offences, a strong racial bias, prisons run by corporations for profit, the sale of convict labor to corporations, and a charge for prison room and board and you have a modern system of bonded labor – a social condition otherwise known as slavery.” [from Take It Personally: How to Make Conscious Choices to Change the World edited by Anita Roddick, p.75]
I’m trying to find out if Victoria’s Secret or their subcontractors still use prison labor and plan to cut my “Victoria’s Secret Angel” credit card in pieces – inside one of their stores – if they do. I will not support slavery.