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Students and Workers Demand a Sweat-Free UC

As part of a national anti-sweatshop campaign taking place at over 40 colleges and universities in the U.S., students and workers from UC Santa Cruz held a rally and march to demand that UCSC apparel no longer be produced in sweatshops.

The marchers, a few of whom had family members currently working in sweatshops overseas or have had personal experiences themselves, initially educated the many passerbys in busy Baytree Plaza before marching to the Chancellor's office where a list of demands was presented to an administrative representative. The administration's follow-through will be closely watched.
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2 speakers from the Student and Worker Coalition for Justice alert students in the Baytree Plaza of where their college apparel comes.
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An organizer with AFSCME speaks with Univision, who later ran the story as their headliner for the evening.
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A worker stands by two campus police who closely watched the students and workers throughout the action. They were accompanied by Dan Wood from the demonstration response team an an administrator from Labor Relations who keeps tabs on where workers are.
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Everyone marches over to the Chancellor's office, where they'll find that the doors have been locked. A rep. for the Chancellor slips out a few minutes later.
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Students and workers give the Chancellor's spokesperson a list of ways that UCSC can respect workers rights without using sweatshops. They also tell of their personal experiences, while insisting that they receive a rapid response from the administration.
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After speaking with the Chancellor's rep for a good while, students and workers debrief on the action and plan next steps.
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Group picture!
Today's local action was organized by AFSCME, Comercio Justo and the Student and Worker Coalition for Justice, as part of a national campaign sponsored by United Students Against Sweatshops, UNITE HERE! and Global Exchange.

UCSC's Student and Worker Coalition for Justice meets at 8pm every Thursday in Porter C002 (under the Hungry Slug Cafe). You can also join the SWCJ listserv at groups.yahoo.com/group/ucscswcj

The SWCJ has played an important role in the past and continued struggle of campus unions, especially AFSCME and CUE. They have helped organize multiple rallies, sit-ins, marches, teach-ins and other events, the largest of which was the April 14th statewide AFSCME strike where it is estimated that at UCSC over 2,000 students came out throughout the day in solidarity, shutting the campus down and blocking both East and West entrances. AFSCME was offered a decent contract shortly afterwards.

Among other things, they are currently active supporting the Metro bus drivers union, UTU Local 23. On Monday they organized a well-publicized action that successfully got Mike Rotkin to declare his support for the Metro workers. This Friday, they will lead students in a solidarity march from the base of campus (starts at 4pm) to the downtown Metro station.

Thank you to the organizers and participants of this event. For additional photos or for reprinting, please email: sugarloaf (at) riseup.net

Be on the lookout for a post from one of the organizers of this action.
 
 


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Comments

Re: Students and Workers Demand a Sweat-Free UC

I'm so glad UCSC has so much extra money it can pay a big time administrator big bucks to follow a demonstration of what, 20 people around. Good use of state taxpayer money guys!
 

Re: Students and Workers Demand a Sweat-Free UC

"There's that microphone again!"

Nice shots, Josh!
 

Re: Students and Workers Demand a Sweat-Free UC

when was the clothing produced in sweatshops? It is odd that no proof was even cited in the article.
 

Re: Students and Workers Demand a Sweat-Free UC

The university doesn't care where it's clothes comes from. I tried to ask managers at the bookstore if they can guarantee that their clothing is not made in sweatshops. They said that they have policies against it. The thing is that a policy doesn't do squat if it's not enforced. It's more important to have more high paying administrative positions than to address the issues raised by these students.

The priority of the UCSC administration is to make sure that there is a large and well paid UCSC administration. If you notice any activity by the administration other than ensuring the growth in pay and size of the UCSC administration I can guarantee that it was unintended.
 

Re: Students and Workers Demand a Sweat-Free UC

ok, since you seem to care where it comes from:

1. What companies are currently producing the clothing for the university

2. Have they been convicted of worker abuse and if yes where?


Though I am against sweat shops, any place where employment is mandatory and abusive, could you please provide more evidence to support your position that the school is purchasing from such suppliers. Is this policy you are seeking merely symbolic?
 

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