Worker Tour at UCSD
02 Feb 2006 22:08 GMT
Monday, February 6
Noon, Price Center Plaza - UCSD
Workers from Thailand and Kenya come to talk about their experiences in the global garment industry! As the UC continues to do business with factories that fail to abide by international human rights and labor laws, we urge our community to listen and TAKE ACTION to stop the UC from such practices.
Students for Economic Justice, United Students Against Sweatshops UCSD
affiliate, is presenting this proposal to demand that University of
California apparel and uniforms be produced in designated sweat-free
factories. Within the past few years it has become clear that the
University of California’s code of conduct is insufficient to uphold the
university’s stated commitment to worker rights. To truly end the
production of our clothing in sweatshops, the University of California
must take a more proactive and precise role. The University of California
must ensure that our apparel and uniforms are made where workers have a
voice on the job and can bargain for a living wage. Students for Economic
Justice considers this program to be the most powerful and efficient way
to sever the University of California’s ties to sweatshops. Today more
than forty other prestigious universities across the nation are being
asked to reaffirm their commitment to worker rights and take an historic
step in the effort to end sweatshops.
Despite the positive action by workers and the university, UC apparel is
still made in sweatshops. 5 years ago the University of California adopted
a code of conduct to set basic labor standards for our licensees. While
this has lead to improvements in certain individual cases, the abuses we
strive to eliminate still remain. Across the globe workers in apparel
factories face systematic violations of their rights. Wages are
insufficient to provide for a worker’s basic needs. With pressure from
licensees manufacturers keep workers at or below the poverty line. Respect
for the right to organize still does not exist, and workers who attempt to
improve their conditions are met with harassment, abuse and illegal
firings. Given these realities improving conditions and respecting worker
rights means closure for a factory. Factories that respect the right to
freedom of association must be rewarded, not punished. This is exactly
what Students for Economic Justice’s proposed program will do.
To finally realize the principles in our code of conduct, UC apparel and
uniforms must be made in a designated set of sweat-free factories.
Factories which respect the ideals which preceded our code of conduct must
be rewarded with orders. To be designated, a factory must demonstrate a
commitment to freedom of association as shown by the presence of a
legitimate, representative union or other representative employee body.
Additionally, licensees must purchase clothing from these suppliers at
prices and quantities that allow workers to bargain for a living wage. The
attached “Designated Suppliers Program” further explains the program.
Given the negligible increased cost to the licensee and the diversity of
suppliers included, this program is both economically and logistically