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Creative Acitvism Raises Issues at Denton's Investiture Friday

Activists at Chancellor Denton's Investiture passed out fake programs informing audience about UC's failure to enforce its code of conduct prohibiting the use of sweatshops to make univeristy apparel, and urging Denton to support to proposed changes that will make the document more comprehensive and effective.
On Friday, two "ushers" greeted the suits and ties arriving for Chancellor Denton's investiture outside the UCSC music center. They guided the auidience to the proper lines and passed out programs with smiles. However, when the programs were opened, instead of containing the schedual for the investiture, they outlined the problems with the UC Code of Conduct and the proposed changes to them that Comercio Justo and the Student Worker Justice Coalition are spearheading, in an effort to make the campus and UC system Sweatfree.

The Code of Conduct was adopted in 2000 following a US-wide campiagn whose goal was to pressure companies to stop producing using sweatshop practices by wrangling in the power of univeristy purchasing to affect this change. The goal was to have the legal power to cancel a contract with any corporation found to be engaging in sweatshop practices.

Nearly every audience member recieved what the administration referred to as the "alternative program." The personal assistant to the Chancellor even left the pre-ceremony preparations to speak with the students hadning out the flyers and promised to look into the way that Chancellor Yang of UCSB supported the changes. She also further alluded to a future meeting, which had been skirted since students began asking the Chancellor for support. She took a message back to the new Chancellor that students wanted to collaborate, not be blocked out of her office.

Such was the impact of the alternative program, that during her inagural address, Denton held it up and stated that she wanted to work together in creating a "program" to address the issue of sweatshops.

The following is some of the text included in the program, which serves as a brief, but sufficient introduction to the campaign:

Although the Code of Conduct is well written and outlines bold criteria for workers rights, if not enforced it is no more than a paper tiger entrenching the UC in public appeasement without active follow through. Since the Code of Conduct has been in effect, not even one UCSC contact has been cancelled . . .

BJ & B supplies hats to the UCSC Bay Tree Bookstore. Although a few years ago, through the advocacy of students, the company was forced to allow the workers to unionize, the company has gradually been decreasing the work supply and laying off workers. This past August over 100 workers were fired, and those remaining fear for the future of their job security. However the UC cannot help these workers.

Concerned students (most afflitating with United Stdents Against Sweatshops as a nexus for communication, sharing and coordination) across the US have collaborated in order to address the shortcomings of the Code of Conduct as it stands. We have proposed that the Code be extended to include strategic sourcing from unionized factories. We are take issue with the Code’s enforcement and demand that any infringements be acted upon promptly to ensure that the garment industry does not continue to get away with degrading and abusive practices.

Why source from unions?

Unions allow workers to exercise their collective bargaining rights and address workplace problems and hazards. The workers are then able to express grievances to the management or the Workers Rights Consortium. Those who make their living through employment in the garment industry are the best qualified to recognize and change their workplace conditions. It should be our role as an influential purchaser to encourage unions as a self-policing mechanism within the garment industry.

As it currently stands, the Code of Conduct does not have any guidelines that ensure that licensees continue utilizing a factory once the arduous process of unionization has occurred. After facing the international pressure to allow workers to exercise their recognized rights to fair labor practices and safe working conditions, many corporations or sub-contractors begin cutting jobs in unionized factories and shift business elsewhere.

The only mechanism that will aid in the establishment of unions and the continued success of unionized factories is to source only from factories and companies that allow unionization. This policy would ensure that unions became the norm and workers have the ability to regain workplace safety as well as living wages.

To get involved contact Comercio Justo dylan4awareness (at) yahoo.com, or attend a Student Worker Justice Coalition Thursdays at 8pm below the Porter Hungry Slug
 
 


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SC Sentinel Picture

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Denton_3.JPG
Here is a photo of Denise Denton referring to the 'alternative program' during her investiture.
 

Re: Creative Acitvism Raises Issues at Denton's Investiture Friday

typical a union pricing itself out of a job.
 

Re: Creative Acitvism Raises Issues at Denton's Investiture Friday

What the fuck is that supposed to mean Anonymous? Inside joke. I'm not fucking laughing.
 

Re: Creative Acitvism Raises Issues at Denton's Investiture Friday

Ask yourself this why is a company decreasing production? The answer is that there is less of a demand for the product probably due to its cost. In the case of BJ & B unionists demanding higher wages and benefits have caused the company to charge more than its nonunionized competitors, resulting a reduction in production. A company with low production does not need the same level of workers, hence the union prices itself out of work.
 

Finalists for the DENISE DENTON CAPTION CONTEST 2005

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Click here to place your vote on the DENISE DENTON CAPTION CONTEST 2005. Three finalists remain and your vote is needed.

"One... two....three..........three and a half...if all of you aren't in your free speech zones by time I get to FOUR, I'm calling in the SWAT team!!"

"In preparation for this year's Tent University, Chancellor Denton gets an early start teaching campus police the latest in pain-compliance holds and pressure point theory."

"Chancellor Denton...the American Sign Language Program has already been cut"
 

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