Anti-Sweatshop Advisory Committee Meeting
September 11, 2006
USAS Designated Supplier Proposal.
- IU RTC has contributed $1,000 to the DSP Working Group to help defray meeting costs.
- About 30 schools are now members of the Working Group.
- Scott Nova of the WRC has sent a set of revisions to the DSP which include compromises to accommodate implementation concerns.
- The Department of Justice Letter of Review of the DSP is expected in December.
- Jenny McDaniel will represent IU at the Sept. 18 Working Group meeting, where the revisions to the DSP will be discussed.
- The ILO is planning to conduct an inquiry at Coke plants in Colombia, but there is no timeline for its completion. SINALTRAINAL does not support the ILO investigation because it will only look at current conditions, not allegations of past abuses. USAS also does not feel that the proposed ILO investigation addresses the problem, which is past labor rights violations.
- DePaul University in Chicago has decided not to renew its contract with Coke last week.
- The committee agreed to invite IU Purchasing representatives to a meeting in December or January to discuss IU’s contract with Coke once again – to remind them that this is still an issue.
Support for Improved Factories.
Committee chair Dick McKaig reported that President Herbert’s office declined to endorse the letter we wanted him to send to licensees asking that they source from factories where significant improvements in worker rights had been made, but where a reduction in orders threatens factory closure.
Letter Regarding Hermosa & Chi Fung Factories.
Isabel sent the revised draft letter to licensees who source from these factories to the committee chair shortly after our last meeting, but the letter has not be sent. Dick said that the negative response he received from the university administration regarding the letter asking licensees to support improved factories (see above) led him to cease action on the Hermosa letter. The committee expressed their desire to still send the Hermosa letter. Dick said he would run it by University Counsel, and if they had no objections, he would have it sent from the committee. Katy reported that she was in El Salvador this summer and discerned that the letter could still have an important impact on workers there.
WRC Factory Reports on BJ&B.
- BJ&B is a cap factory in the Dominican Republic where substantial labor rights improvements have been made in recent years, including the formation of an independent union. Unfortunately, the number of orders received by the factory has decreased drastically in recent months, and the workforce has decreased from nearly 2,000 to just a few hundred. The WRC has asked us to encourage our licensees, in particlar Nike and Adidas/Reebok to source from this factory. Since the WRC report on this matter on August 3, Nike has indeed increased its orders from BJ&B.
- The committee decided to draft a letter to send to our licensees to encourage them to use this factory. Katy will work on a draft and send it to Dick. The letter would come from the committee, and Dick said that if University Counsel approves the Hermosa letter, he would assume that the BJ&B letter is OK with them too.
The next committee meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 26, 3:30 pm. Location will probably be a meeting room at the IMU; this will be confirmed via e-mail.