UCSB breaks up with Nike because of sweatshops

From www.thebottomline.as.ucsb.edu |

The struggle against Nike policy of not respecting labour rights is ongoing in several univerisities in the US. Now, the University of California Santa Barbara announces that will break up with the brand because of this poblem.

“In 2006, the UC agreed to implement the Designated Suppliers Program. The DSP was created by the Worker Rights Consortium and United Students Against Sweatshops to help protect the rights of the workers who make university apparel. Universities that have agreed to the terms of the DSP, such as all the UC campuses, must obtain most of their university logo apparel from supplier factories that respect the rights of their employees in the ways that the DSP stipulates. To be in accordance with DSP standards, a factory’s employees must be paid a living wage and be able to organize and bargain collectively. Additionally, the factory itself must comply with internationally recognized labor standards. To ensure that supplier factories are in accordance with these standards, the WRC investigates the factories that produce university apparel. Because UCSB cannot confirm that Nike factories are in accordance with the DSP, the university will look for another company — possibly Under Armour, which has already signed with UC Berkeley”.

The reports from Workers Right Consortium have been important for making that decision.

“Various WRC reports from 2007 to 2008 connect Nike to sweatshops in Thailand, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras. Despite these reports, workers’ rights violations seem to have continued. In 2011, workers at a Nike Converse factory in Indonesia claimed that they were verbally and physically abused by factory supervisors. Many universities throughout the United States, including UCSB, rely on the WRC to report on the conditions of the factories used to produce university apparel. However, Nike has recently blocked the WRC from entering its supplier factories, according to reports”.

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