Anti-Sweatshop Advisory Committee Meeting
January 17, 2006
USAS Designated Supplier Proposal . The WRC hosted a third conference call with universities regarding this proposal on Dec. 13. So far, there are statements of support from 4 universities on the WRC website: University of Connecticut, Georgetown, University of Maine-Farmington, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. We have received no response yet from IU President Adam Herbert, but committee chair Dick McKaig will follow up with his office soon. He will try to obtain a response before the WRC university caucus meeting on Feb. 17.
WRC University Caucus Meeting. This meeting will take place earlier than usual this year, Feb. 17 (instead of end of April), in Washington DC. Isabel Piedmont has agreed to attend to represent IU.
Coca-Cola Issue Update . The commission of concerned universities, labor rights groups, and (initially) a Coke representative had put forward a proposal for an independent investigation of worker/human rights abuses at Colombia bottling plants. Coke rejected the proposal. The commission was to decide by Jan. 13 how to proceed, and Dick McKaig will contact Glen Fichtman of UCLA (who is active on the commission) for an update. Coke has put forward a counter-proposal which has been discussed via conference call by commission members, but it is not likely to be accepted. A few schools with Coke contracts have cancelled them and kicked Coke off campus ( New York University, University of Michigan). No school with an exclusive Coke contract has cancelled it as far as we know.
To investigate further what steps IU might take to put pressure on Coke, Dick will invite Mike Keen, IU Purchasing contract manager, to our next meeting.
USAS Workers’ Tour. United Students Against Sweatshops is organizing a tour of former garment workers from Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala to visit midwest universities and talk about factory conditions. The workers would also engage in a question & answer panel and address possible impacts of implementing the Designated Suppliers proposal. No Sweat! would like to include IUB in the tour, but it will cost about $1000 to cover the group’s expenses. Phil Shelton asked for advice on how to raise the funds. Isabel offered to send him the list of on-campus groups who supported the Sept. 2005 fair trade conference. The tour stop would take place February 26.
Next Meeting . Our next meeting will be 4:00 pm, Monday, February 13 in Franklin Hall 106.