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UCSC students fight for sweatshop free apparel

UCSC students participate in a national day of action aimed at increasing awareness about the use of sweatshop labor to produce collegiate apparel.
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On Tuesday, November 15, students involved with the New Sweat Free Campus Campaign at the University of California Santa Cruz posted clothing with anti-sweatshop messages around campus. Their efforts were part of a national day of action aimed at increasing awareness about the use of sweatshop labor to produce collegiate apparel.

The campaign, spearheaded by United Students Against Sweatshops, is demanding that university administrators back up their Codes of Conduct with an actual program of enforcement, the Designated Suppliers Program. These Codes of Conduct are official documents requiring that all university licensees have their goods made in factories that are not operated under sweat-shop conditions.

Currently, while Presidents and Chancellors across the country are meeting with students and expressing interest in adopting this program, Chancellor Denton continues to stall meeting with UCSC students and refuses to take a stand on the issue.

UCSC students and workers will continue to make sure that this campaign is at the forefront of campus issues and will not tire until the university makes a concrete commitment to guaranteeing that our clothing and uniforms are not produced in sweatshops.
 
 


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Re: UCSC students fight for sweatshop free apparel

nice post, Sara!
 

Re: UCSC students fight for sweatshop free apparel

yea nice post, now if she could simply show some evidence that any clothes at the uc store are made in sweatshop.
 

Re: UCSC students fight for sweatshop free apparel

something to think about: many factories where our collegiate apparel is made are the same factories producing for big corporations like WalMart. And the collegiate apparel only makes up about 1-10% of total production in a single factory. It's not likely that there are two sets of workers in a factory, one under sweatshop conditions for WalMart's goods and the other working under fair labor conditions for the collegiate apparel market. And most of these companies and brands that the UC licenses its name to source their goods from dozens to hundreds of different factories around the world. These companies don't have a true interest in the welfare of the people making their goods. Their bottom line is profit. And their CEO's and VP's can spit out propaganda all they want about monitoring their factories, but I don't trust the word of the people who stand to profit the most from exploiting workers.
 

Avoiding sweatshops before they start

Sara, you rock my socks off!

I wonder what the percentage of sweatshop to non-sweatshop really is. See, it seems to me that factories that actually allow unions and have safe working conditions make up less than 1% of the apparel industry. To those who question, i say you are in denial-- and since it is human rights at stake, shouldn't the burden of proof be on showing that the factory is not a sweatshop, but actually follows code. We are looking at this issue the wrong way in terms of protecting workers. The proposed changes to enforecement of the code of conduct take steps at ensuring that a company truly does not support sweatshop conditions, instead of waiting for violations. I suggest that anyone with questions about this campaign take some time to read a great "little" book by Naomi Klein entitled "No Logo."
 

Re: UCSC students fight for sweatshop free apparel

"

I wonder what the percentage of sweatshop to non-sweatshop really is. See, it seems to me that factories that actually allow unions and have safe working conditions make up less than 1% of the apparel industry. To those who question, i say you are in denial--

"

No am not in deniel, am simply asking for some solid proof instead of conjecture. Please give some names, dates, court cases, anything that proves that the uc system currently purchases cloths from sweat shops.

" and since it is human rights at stake, shouldn't the burden of proof be on showing that the factory is not a sweatshop, but actually follows code.

"

I see prosumption of innocense is a foreign concept to you.
 

Re: UCSC students fight for sweatshop free apparel

Can the UC prove that it *doesn't* use sweatshops?

If UC administrators say there's 'no sweat' in our apparel, why can't they prove it to us? There is a very large binder in the office of Bob McCambell (BayTree bookstore director) which lists the factories used by UCSC- however, it has *not* been disclosed to the Workers' Right's Consortium, WRC (www.workersrights.org) and may not be up to date.

Yes, the 'presumption of innocence before guilt' is an important concept- to which I am not ignorant. Rather, I'm not naive to the fact that corporate corruption is rampant- anyone remember Enron? Familiar with WalMart? I'm sure that you're also aware of the fact that *both* the accused and the accuser must present evidence to support their claim of guilt or innocence. Right now, Students Against Sweatshops is compiling a report with facts regarding specific factories. UC administrators, on the contrary, are dodging these accusations with dogmatic replies to the effect of 'we've been on the cutting edge of anti-sweatshop policy for years' and 'we're members of the WRC and FLA (fair labor association)' without giving us concrete proof.

I would love nothing more than to find out that UCSC only carries sweat-free apparel. If you browse the WRC website you will see factory disclore lists and reports. What does this site say about the UC? Well, only Santa Barbara and Davis are disclosing factory lists to the WRC (actual # of factories sourced from are 934 and 1044, respectively). One, how can the WRC monitor a factory if it is not disclosed? Two, the number of factories is astronomical and it is not possible for the WRC to be in every factory, all the time.

With that said, all we are demanding is that the UC stand behind its Code of Conduct by signing onto the Designated Suppliers Program- which will concentrate collegiate apparel production into a smaller number of factories that the WRC has designated as 'good factories', a.k.a. sweat-free. This will guarantee business for the factories *and* make it easier to monitor them.
 

Re: UCSC students fight for sweatshop free apparel

Nice post... but in the future, please be careful not to intrude upon any bus stop signage. :-)
 

Re: UCSC students fight for sweatshop free apparel

Until some point that your group can present that UC employs sweatshops its under no obligation to prove its innocence.

The group believes that the UC system is guilty, yet you have yet to compile the evidence to cast reasonable suspicion.

By what means did the workers right consortium request a copy of the information contained in the binder? The mere existence of the binder does not equate to UC being guilty. If your group can connect a name to a crime then it proves your point.

Why should UC, a public entity, subject itself to your groups privately approved factory list. You claimed that you don't even have the resources to monitor all the factories yet you can come up with an approved list.

What criteria does the WRC use select companies as “good??
 

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