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
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