Anti-Sweatshop Advisory Committee Meeting
September 19, 2005
Conference: The University and Fair Trade . Isabel Piedmont, Purnima Bose, and Lynn Duggan reported on the status of plans for the conference, to take place Sept. 29-30. The publicity effort is in full swing, with IU Media Relations due to send a press release out very soon. We have five outside speakers who will attend, and in addition there will be four speakers from IUB. Isabel reported a budget shortfall due to the increased mileage reimbursement rate, and committee chair Dick McKaig said that the Dean of Students Office would provide an additional $75 (on top of the $500 already committed by that office). Posters for the conference were handed out, and all committee members were encouraged to attend. There is no conference registration required.
Update on Coca-Cola Issues . Phil Shelton reported that the commission of labor rights advocates, university administrators, Columbian labor unions, and USAS members concerned about allegations of labor rights violations at Coke bottling plants in Columbia met three times since our last Anti-Sweatshop Advisory Committee meeting: July 1, August 9, and Sept. 16. The WRC is facilitating the process of instigating an independent investigation of the allegations. A conference call is scheduled for tomorrow, Sept. 20, to finalize plans for the investigation. The investigative team will consist of 3 groups, each with one person from Columbia and one person from outside the country.
There will be a meeting in Ann Arbor in early October to discuss environmental and human rights concerns regarding Coke’s practices in India.
Committee Membership for 2005-06 . Dick McKaig reviewed the membership rules of the committee. There are to be 4 students selected by IUSA, 4 staff members, and 4 faculty members. The IUSA must certify members each year, and this has not been done yet for 2005-06. Phil will seek to be certified by IUSA as a student representative of No Sweat! He said there is enough interest among No Sweat! activists that they could fill the other 3 student positions too, but he will consult with IUSA to find out how to proceed.
The staff positions are currently filled by Dick McKaig, Jenny McDaniel, and Isabel Piedmont. The 4th staff position should be filled by a member of CWA or AFSCME, but Dick has had no response from those groups.
The faculty positions are currently filled by Purnima Bose, Jeff Isaac, Al Ruesink, and Ed Rhodes, but Jeff and Ed have been inactive on the committee. It was agreed that Lynn Duggan would officially take over one of the faculty slots. Dick will consult with Jeff and Ed to see if either one is interested in resuming involvement.
Next Meeting: Thursday, Oct. 20, 4:00 pm, Franklin Hall 106.