ALMANAC BETWEEN ISSUES: February 28, 2000


See Also:

Report of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor (Posted 3/2/00)

FOR COMMENT: A Code of Workplace Conduct for Penn Apparel Licensees (Posted 3/2/00)

Ad-Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor:

Comments to President Rodin Regarding its Report and the Proposed Code of Conduct and Monitoring of Factories

(Announced February 28, 2000)

I am pleased to report that the Ad-Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor presented its report to University President Judith Rodin today, February 28, 2000.

We met intensively from February 10 through today. We took up the charges of developing a code of workplace conduct for licensees of Penn apparel and considering which monitoring organization or organizations would be best suited to monitor factories making University apparel.

The superordinate goal of our deliberations was the promotion of fair labor practices in the manufacture of collegiate apparel. To reach that goal, all members of the committee voted in favor of the following.

We firmly believe that Penn needs a strong code of conduct that will be fully enforced and regularly evaluated for effectiveness. Our proposed code aims to demonstrate Penn's commitment to fair labor practices and to ensure that licensees of Penn apparel are held to very high standards.

We believe that, without question, effective monitoring of licensee factories is crucial to ensuring fair labor practices. With that principle in mind, we believe that both the Fair Labor Association and the Worker Rights Consortium have potential in this regard, but we have a number of concerns about both organizations. Once the organizations agree to address our greatest concern--balanced representation of colleges and universities on their governing boards --we would recommend that Penn join the FLA and the WRC. We would then want to work from within these organizations to address our additional concerns with them.

As chair, I am very pleased with this outcome. I feel it puts Penn on a very good path regarding this important issue. I am delighted to have worked with such a thoughtful group.

--Howard Kunreuther, Chair, Ad-Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor

 President Rodin's Comments on the Report

"I am pleased to receive the report of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor today--a day early," said President Judith Rodin. "I appreciate the efforts of the committee, particularly on such a fast track. I know they put an enormous amount of time and thought into this report; I will give it all due consideration and I will do so quickly in the spirit of the committee's efficient work and the importance of this issue.

"I expect to respond to the committee's recommendation on monitoring organizations shortly. At the same time, I think it is important to publish the proposed code of conduct in Almanac for comment. The code will become a University policy, so it seems appropriate to give the campus community an opportunity to consider it."


Posted 2/28/00 (modified 2/29/00)

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