Anti-Sweatshop Advisory Committee Meeting
February 13, 2006

USAS Designated Supplier Proposal . President Herbert has agreed, in principle, to participate in implementing the Proposal along with other universities once the details have been worked out. His letter to Dean Dick McKaig indicated that he would like further clarification as to the possible legal implications vis à vis anti-trust rules, which Isabel Piedmont will try to obtain when she attends the WRC University Caucus meeting Feb. 17. Dick suggested she ask the anti-trust attorney who will be attending the Caucus meeting whether a “Business Letter of Review” can be obtained from the US Justice Department.

Next steps: 1) Purnima Bose agreed to draft a press release about the President’s decision, 2) Dick said he would inform the WRC, 3) Phil Shelton said that USAS and representatives of Georgetown University were tentatively planning a conference for late April during which universities would discuss how to implement the Designated Supplier Proposal.

WRC University Caucus Meeting. Isabel will attend this meeting on Feb. 17, and she asked the committee whether there are any specific points, other than the anti-trust concern of the President, that she should raise. Phil suggested conferring with Georgetown reps regarding the possible conference on implementation of the DSP.

Coca-Cola Issue Update . Jennifer Foutty and Megan Kerton were present to discuss the university’s Coke contract. They emphasized that the role of IU Purchasing is to make sure the terms of the contract are fulfilled. The Coke contract was originally signed as a 10-year agreement in 1994, and it was renewed for another 6 years in 2003. It will expire June 30, 2009.

The benefits of the Coke contract for IU are as follows:

  1. IU receives a sponsorship fee of $7.5 million over 16 years to use in support of the university’s mission.
  2. A 45% commission goes to the department or unit where the vending machine is located or where the pouring of Coke takes place.
  3. IU receives marketing funds in the amount of $30,000 per year which is used to advertise the university in conjunction with Coke. For example, Coke recently put “IU is Red Hot” stickers on Dasani water bottles.
  4. Coke places and maintains all vending machines and soda fountains on IU campuses.
  5. Coke often provides products at no cost for IU events.

In response to the committee’s questions about the possibility of terminating the Coke contract, Jennifer and Megan said it could be terminated only for breach of contract or a violation of the law “in execution of the contract.” So the possibility of legally terminating IU’s Coke contract based on labor rights concerns seems very unlikely.

Committee members also asked Jennifer and Megan about purchasing contracts for apparel without IU logos, such as uniforms, and whether such contracts have any terms related to working conditions. They do not. Currently, IU’s uniform supplier, CINTAS, produces its garments in Ohio, so the assumption is there are no serious labor violations.

Committee Membership. Dick said he would contact the committee members who have not been attending meetings to gauge their interest.

USAS Workers’ Tour. Phil reminded us that the tour of garment workers organized by United Students Against Sweatshops will stop at IUB on Sunday, Feb. 26. A panel discussion will take place at 4:30 pm in Fine Arts 015.

Next Meeting . Our next meeting will be 4:00 pm, Wednesday, March 22 in Franklin Hall 300.