Code of Workplace Conduct for Penn Apparel Licensees (Almanac February 10, 2004), and the years of earnest and wide-ranging campus
discussion that preceded it is laudable, but I believe
the code, and the accompanying campus dialogue has missed
an even more basic point on this subject. It is essential
that people all over the world have humane and safe working
conditions, and living wages. But I believe additionally
that the workers who make Penn clothing and trinkets should
not be engaged in this labor at all, even under the most
progressive conditions of labor and pay.
they should be building infrastructure in their respective
countries, constructing housing, raising crops and livestock,
improving their own health care and education, creating
vibrant arts and culture for themselves, and to share with
think these are more important uses for the skills of these
folks than the creation of low-essential t-shirts and key-chains
for an already over-saturated first-world consumer market.
we would do better as a University community if we voluntarily
limited or discontinued our purchase of these marginal
items, and instead developed meaningful jobs for people
who would otherwise be making yet more pants, caps and
shot glasses with the Penn logo on them.
G. Hoenigswald, Biddle
Law Library, Invoice Clerk
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