• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Letter to students
 Introduction
 At BJ & B caps are big busines...
 Who benefits?
 What 8 cents means to BJ &...
 Tightening the vice: Conditions...
 BJ & J commits illegal wage discrimination...
 Abusive workplace conditions
 Suppressing the right to organ...
 BJ & B is a sweatshop - It doesn't...














Title: Was your school's cap made in this sweatshop?
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078140/00001
 Material Information
Title: Was your school's cap made in this sweatshop?
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: UNITE
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Bibliographic ID: UF00078140
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
    Letter to students
        Page ii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
    At BJ & B caps are big business
        Page 3
    Who benefits?
        Page 4
    What 8 cents means to BJ & B workers
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Tightening the vice: Conditions getting worse at BJ & B
        Page 7
    BJ & J commits illegal wage discrimination against women workers
        Page 8
    Abusive workplace conditions
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Suppressing the right to organize
        Page 10
    BJ & B is a sweatshop - It doesn't have to be this way
        Page 11
        Page 12
Full Text
APR-15-98 14:18 FROM=COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT


690 AN HOUR What I want to know is why do we get paid
so little, if these caps sell for so much? I'm working 56 hours a week,
and sometimes I can't afford clothes for my children."


A UNITE REPORT ON CAMPUS CAPS MADE BY BJ&B IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC


ID=2125823175


PAGE 2/8




;-9 1:20 FROCOM14MUI ATIN DEPARTMENT



Dear student,


We were as shocked as you to find out that baseball caps with our
schools' logos were made in a sweatshop.

What is even more shocking is that we don't know where all the
other caps, T-shirts and sweatshirts with our schools' logos were
made. We don't know if they were produced under decent condi-
tions or in a horrible sweatshop.
But you can help make a change.
Here's what Georgetown student Mike Burs told their student
newspaper: "The Georgetown logo that is manufactured so preva-
lently represents all of us: students, faculty, staff, administrators,
and alumni. We have a responsibility to know how this apparel is
made."
We want to know where our college logo apparel is produced and
that it is produced under decent conditions.

Students across the country are standing up and demanding that
their universities take responsibility for their college apparel.
We invite you to join us in working to stop sweatshops!


Michael Bums

Moran Beaswey
Eastem Ilnois '99
Georgetown '00 LoriKreoff
i. Iinois '99
Danny ^
wn'98Danie Hennefeld
Harvard 99
lanra ODerek Dom
Brown'99 Comen'98 F r

Yale University '98




L-'IK- 1


ID:212S82317S


-. ;.'1 ; .'-" ,' .' '. -. *,K .., -,

O outside of Santo Domingo in the DoI fiinican. .ton A .
2,050 workers, mostly teenage girls or young wonn;n' .-'.
O caps bearing the names of America's, great tiversiegWbrki e ,:.iy 'i; "V
in a typical week at BJ&B they earn approximately $40 after 56hours of work ..'
Thousands of miles away, students, families, alumni and sports fat bi uythese ,.* :.;
caps at campus stores at Harvard, Rutgers, Georgetown, Cornell, e d qterd '. .. .
universities. They pay about $20 for a cap. The University makes about $1 .50: i-',,,
from each cap from a licensing fee. Of that price, only 8 goes to the workers 4 ;.:"
who made the cap. '
Members of these university communities don't know about the workers in
Villa Altagracia. And the Dominican workers don't know much about the univer-
sities whose logos they embroider onto caps. However, in April, 1998, workers
from the BJ&B plant are visiting the United States to meet with members of
some of these university communities. They will meet with student groups who .?.,. "
are calling for policies governing university licensing that assure that the goods -
bearing the university's name are made under decent working conditions. Their '.- "'
visit has been facilitated by the Dominican labor union that is struggling to win
improvements in the lives of workers at plants such as BJ&B. But the workers :. .,
who are visiting may be taking great personal risks including the possibility 60 '
being blacklisted from other jobs once they return.
People work at BJ&B to try to build a life for their families. But BJ&B's poli-
cies will likely result in workers staying hungry, poorly housed and poorly
clothed. Part of the problem is the low pay level. The pay is 1/3 of what the
Dominican government says is sufficient for a typical family.
Worse, BJ&B's policies keep workers from being able to improve their lives. /!" : ..
The company forces overtime work, often requiring 56 hours of work per week ..o"
in violation of Dominican law. This policy forces many of the young people ,
who take evening classes to give up their education in order to keep their jobs.
BJ&B's policy has been to pay women less than men, in violation of Dominican
law. And BJ&B employees complain that the company recently terminated its
entire workforce to avoid the legally required pay and benefit increases that
C r one year's work. BJ&B then rehired workers as entry level employ-
1 f report that this evasion of the law is typical of sweatshop
miican Republic.


PAGE 4/R




APR-15-98 14:22 FROM.COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT ID:2125823175 PACE 5/8






V.0~



^ ^ .. ,.
Conditions inside the BJ&B plant are diqstarbig ,g gers
hit workers to discipline them, and touch women .nateJ ia
shout at and belittle workers; that the drinking water causes disease; an that
company's safety practices are poor. Some workers injured on the jobhavcl' ib ".- "
fired.
And when workers disgusted with these practices try to do some ngib.ut i ,-
the company's action is swift and decisive. Last time a group of wofker s ga 'o
talk about forming a union, the company conducted mass firings of suspeted unint '-
sympathizers. Workers report that the company fired people just because they liyd.
in a village where some of the union activists came from.
By any reasonable person's definition, BJ&B is a sweatshop. But the good new
is that the new relationship between these workers and concerned members of the
university community gives some reasons for hope. Sweatshops proliferate whe Y
they are hidden. Worker mistreatment takes place when an uncaring boss thinks
nobody is looking. Impoverished communities are exploited when greed gets ds ;.
guised as good business practices.
In March of 1998, Duke University courageously adopted the first licensin
that might make a difference to workers at BJ&B and similar factories. Duke -,
require that companies licensing Duke's name ensure fair treatment of workers .
And Duke requires that much of the information about where products are made be
available to the public, so that sweatshop conditions cannot remain hidden. The '. ','
Duke policy expresses a preference for companies taking leadership in the area of
workplace conditions, so that companies that pay enough to bring workers out of ". '
poverty can be rewarded for their responsible conduct -
The Duke action took courage on the part of the administration, and on the part ;;. ,,* :'
of the students who raised this issue. The visit of BJ&B workers to the U.S. to tell -"" ..:-"
their story requires even more courage. But they are here in the hope that their
story will motivate more universities to join Duke in adopting licensing policies
that demand accountability from the producers of licensed apparel. This report is
the story of the workers at BJ&B.





At BJ&B caps are big business
If you wander across a college campus, you are likely to find a bookstore or university shop
that sells smart-looking baseball caps bearing the name or logo of the university. Chances are
that cap was manufactured in the Dominican Republic. It was very likely made at BJ&B.
BJ&B is a seven-plant complex that employs over 2,000 workers. BJ&B is a major producer
of baseball-style caps bearing the insignia of universities, professional sports teams, and name
brands. U.S. athletic apparel companies such as Champion and Starter supply BJ&B with much
of the university insignia work.
BJ&B is big business. BJ&B, along with Mocarea, another Dominican plant, is the primary
manufacturing center for one of the largest cap producers in the world. Yupoong, the parent
company of BJ&B, says that it makes 14.4 million baseball caps per year in the Dominican
Republic.

BJ&B makes caps with the following logos:

UNIVERSITIES PROFESSIONAL SPORTS NATIONAL BRANDS

Comrnell ofFlorid Major League Baseball Champion Maxfli

Duke U. of Michigan National Hockey League Disney Nike

Georgetown U of N.Carolina National Basketball Assoc. Fila Nutmeg
Harvard UCLA National Football League GAP Starter

Notre Dame USC Zap





Who Benefits?


Who makes money from this flow of economic activity? Not the workers who make the
product, and to a large extent, not the economy of the Dominican Republic.
The university benefits. In the university shop, you can pay $15 to $22 for a cap made at
BJ&B, but the typical cost is $19.95. The university collects a licensing fee typically 7.5% of
the retail price, and sometimes over 10%. So the university collects about $1.50 or more from
your purchase of a cap made at.BJ&B.
But only 84 of the purchase price goes to pay the workers who made the cap.' The uni-
versity gets about 20 times more than the workers from the sale of each cap!


retail
Liese n


Yuoogspi


Retail price $19.95
The university gets about 20 times as much
as all the workers who make each cap.

Foreign ownership. If the workers are only paid 80 of the $19.95 price, do the profits at
BJ&B at least stay in the community? BJ&B is owned by Yupoong, which is a privately-
held Korean company. Based on Yupoong's sales and production information, we estimate
that Yupoong sells the cap to their immediate customers companies like Starter or
Champion for about $4.50. This is consistent with what people in the industry say import-
ed embroidered caps cost at wholesale. If you take 8f direct labor costs out of $4.50, that
leaves a lot of room for materials, management, shipping, depreciation, miscellaneous
costs..and profit. But the profit made at BJ&B doesn't stay to help the Dominican economy.
It goes to its parent company, Yupoong in Korea. /
Tax Breaks. If profits don't stay in the Dominican Republic,
does the local economy benefit from taxes paid by the company?
BJ&B is located in an industrial free trade zone Zona Franca
de Villa Altagracia. Government literature states that companies .
such as BJ&B arc exempted from paying import fees and
income taxes in free trade zones.
How dowe know this 8t rgu? We ow the waw e lcvt aid we ca aima bw much '
di is spn aking coach cap. We have two soucs t cstimte labor ime. which me ca-
sis(c with cah oaor. One is the amnbr of caps worked say each wowk oPi produces pwr f.
day.' he odhe is the amot of labor per cap in othr embroideed baseball cap plant.


UNIVERSITY
GETS $1.50
OR MORE





What 80 Means To BJ&B Workers


"Even with a dozen hours of overtime, she only makes about
$40, she said. When I asked her if that was enough for her
to live on, she laughed. 'Not even half,' she said through
an interpreter"
a -BOB HERBERT. "Sweatshop U." in New York limes, April 12, 1998


Most workers living on a BJ&B paycheck are living in poverty-
The impoverished conditions are immediately visible in Villa Altagracia. Families of 5 or
more people, and sometimes whole extended families, live in crowded and often ramshackle
housing. It is common for 5 family members to sleep in the same room. The contrast could not
be sharper between the run-down housing of BJ&B's workers and the modern plant with its
millions of dollars of hi-tech embroidery machines.


"We're hungry around here."
-27-year-old father who has
worked for BJ&B for 3 years


Most workers live in small, run-down houses made of cor-
regated iron or wood. Often there is no indoor plumbing,
and a family of five typically occupies a 2- or 3-oom
house.
I ~ JBllb~) .~lS ,.-Slb ~ B




API-15-98 20=38 FROM:COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT


ID:2125S23175


Long hours and little pay. The base pay for a typical worker for a full 44-hour work-week
amounts to 4, or 69 per hou_. This is only 1/3 of what the Dominican government esti-
mates to be the necessary income for a typical family to meet its basic needs.' This means
S that BJ&B workers could afford to meet these basic needs if they got paid an extra 16
for every $19.95 cap they make.
A worker can earn an estimated $43.22 for the week by putting in a 56-hour week, and earn-
ing a $3.42 bonus for perfect on-time attendance, meeting production quota, and not getting on
the bad side of the supervisor.' Said one 18-year old-worker, "If the supervisor doesn't like you,
you'll never get your bonus."
As the table below shows, survival is a struggle on a BJ&B wage.

Trying To Make Ends Meet
One 23-yearold mother told us how she spends her daily $7.72 wage:


Rent ............................................. ............ 84'

Lunch from Free Trade Zone vendors ......................... 1.40
Transportation ...................................................70
Child care...................................................... 1.08

Milk & cereal (for infant) ......................................... .44

$5.46

That leaves $2.26 for the rest of her family's food, water, electricity, clothes,
school costs, personal care products and medicine. She has worked at BJ&B for
two years.


There is a sad irony to the poverty wages paid at BJ&B. Where BJ&B now stands, workers
1 say there once stood a unionized sugar mill that paidcli wages. Now this giant cap-maker
dominates the Villa Altagracia free trade zone. The development of BJ&B has not brought eco-
nomic progress to the struggling community of Villa Altagracia.






2 Takehoa pay is lower. ba ase of a leglly quircd deduction ou about 25% for social equity (public helt car).
3 Calculaiao donc by Dominican cooomist Fclpe Santos based o the Central Bank of te Dominican Repblics udy. ~iudio soba c s-
teo e ingresos de la unidd familiar
4 Maxy wkatrs iiwed said =that Voriinm plays hcaily iuo whether works Se paid dte bomn.


PAGE 1/4




APR-15-98 20:38 FROM COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT ID12125823175 PAGE 2/4

Tightening The Vice: Conditions Getting Worse At BJ&B

BJ&B's low wages cause workers to live in poverty. But BJ&B squeezes its workforce
even more by cutting comers and breaking the law. Because of BJ&B's policies and actions,
it's hard for workers at BJ&B to build a better future for themselves and their families.
Conditions at BJ&B are unfortunately getting worse.
Illegal forced overtime. Under Dominican law, it is illegal to require overtime after 44
hours. Workers say that BJ&B used to obey this law, but began tn compel overtime in early
1997. The first victims of the change from legal overtime to illegal overtime were thenny
young workers who were also high school or college students. Young workers say that BJ&B
used to allow students to opt out of overtime in order to attend early evening classes.
"Supervisors announced that we had to stay late or be fired," reported a 26-year-old fired stu-
dent worker who had put in three years at BJ&B. In January of 1997, BJ&B reportedly laid off
students two at a time, and mass lay-offs of students followed in February. After that, workers
say that anyone else who resisted overtime was also fired. The only alternative was to quit
school in order to keep a sweatshop job.
Unpaid hours on Saturday. At BJ&B, Saturday is a special day. Workers report that on
Saturday, BJ&B forces workers to stay past the scheduled 4 hours until the work is done --
without getting paid for the extra time. They say that two extra unpaid hours are common on
Saturday, and that the company forces workers to stay by holding their paychecks hostage.
Since BJ&B workers are barely surviving week-to-week, this is a potent weapon. "'One
Saturday, I had to leave, and they didn't give me my pay until Monday. I had no money, even
for food that weekend," admitted one woman at BJ&B.
Mass terminations used to evade legally required seniority benefits. Until this year, 7
BJ&B obeyed Dominican laws requiring that certain benefits accrue with seniority. Until this
year, workers could expect better pay, severance and vacation as they accrued seniority. 7
Workers report that at the end of 1997, BJ&B terminated its entire workforce through forced
resignations and lay-offs. Annual terminations are common among sweatshop factories in
Dominican free trade zones as a means of evad-
ing legally-required responsibilities to workers
with a year of seniority or more. At BJ&B, those
who "agreed" to resign were told they would get
their jobs back, while those who "forced" the
company to lay them off (and pay full, legal sev-
erance) were told they would not be rehired. One
senior worker, who agreed to resign and was
rehired, found that she faced a wage cut back to
new-hire minimums.
Under Dominican law, pregnant women and
mothers of infants cannot be fired or laid off. A
29-year-old woman with three years seniority
described the company's tactics: "In my build-
ing, supervisors held a meeting just for pregnant
women, and they were all told to resign and even
offered some extra money. But they all refused."
A new mother reported that in the final wave of
lay-offs that just took place, BJ&B went ahead
and laid her off.




r-I-9e 20 FROM:COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT ID212523175E


BJ&B'Commits Illegal Wage Discrimination Against Women Workers
"Workers report systematic wage discrimination against women- A 24-year-old man charged,
"The women work more, but they pay them less." In 1996, BJ&B actually published a different
wage scale for women and men in violation of the Dominican National Labor Code.


SISTEMA DE AUMENTO DE SUELDO POR TEMPO TRABAJO
<< ,lXt ( eW ) >>
G/FINAN G/GENERAL VICE PRESI.
23. Enero. 1996 g


TEMPO UJER O
ENTRADA RD $388. RD $388.
SEIS (6) months RD $393. RD $398
UN (1) ANO RD $403. RD $413
DOS (2) ANO RD $413 RD $428
TRES (3) ANO RD $423 RD $438
(CUATRO) 4 ANO RD $433 RD $448.
CINCO(5) ANO RD $443 RD $458_
SEIS (6) ANO RD $448 RD $463.
SEm (7) ANO RD $453. RD $468.
OCHO(8) ANO RD $458. RD $473


4qdJ9 RD $1,540,1A RD$1,680S.E 914t .
^4*3;L- *aa4 e4 -6EIr ~el i RD$ 5 ~ S sist.


1996 BJ&B Chart showing differential pay for men and women



Abusive Workplace Conditions
It is not surprising that the economic exploitation that is at the core of BJ&B
is accompanied by degrading workplace conditions, such as the following
examples cited by BJ&B workers.
Abusive language. Workers report that management frequently uses abusive
and insulting language. This behavior is particularly offensive in an environ-
ment where top management in the plant comes from a different culture. "They
say Dominicans are dumb and lazy," reported a 25-year-old woman with over
five years at the plant Many workers reported other insults that include offen-
sive graphic sexual language.


3/4


I__ __ __




r-I-9e 20 FROM:COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT ID212523175E


BJ&B'Commits Illegal Wage Discrimination Against Women Workers
"Workers report systematic wage discrimination against women- A 24-year-old man charged,
"The women work more, but they pay them less." In 1996, BJ&B actually published a different
wage scale for women and men in violation of the Dominican National Labor Code.


SISTEMA DE AUMENTO DE SUELDO POR TEMPO TRABAJO
<< ,lXt ( eW ) >>
G/FINAN G/GENERAL VICE PRESI.
23. Enero. 1996 g


TEMPO UJER O
ENTRADA RD $388. RD $388.
SEIS (6) months RD $393. RD $398
UN (1) ANO RD $403. RD $413
DOS (2) ANO RD $413 RD $428
TRES (3) ANO RD $423 RD $438
(CUATRO) 4 ANO RD $433 RD $448.
CINCO(5) ANO RD $443 RD $458_
SEIS (6) ANO RD $448 RD $463.
SEm (7) ANO RD $453. RD $468.
OCHO(8) ANO RD $458. RD $473


4qdJ9 RD $1,540,1A RD$1,680S.E 914t .
^4*3;L- *aa4 e4 -6EIr ~el i RD$ 5 ~ S sist.


1996 BJ&B Chart showing differential pay for men and women



Abusive Workplace Conditions
It is not surprising that the economic exploitation that is at the core of BJ&B
is accompanied by degrading workplace conditions, such as the following
examples cited by BJ&B workers.
Abusive language. Workers report that management frequently uses abusive
and insulting language. This behavior is particularly offensive in an environ-
ment where top management in the plant comes from a different culture. "They
say Dominicans are dumb and lazy," reported a 25-year-old woman with over
five years at the plant Many workers reported other insults that include offen-
sive graphic sexual language.


3/4


I__ __ __




APR-15-98 20:40 FROM=COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT


ID=2125B23175


Physical abuse. Workers also report that managers in the plant hit workers. This behavior
has been reduced since workers threatened legal action against the company for tolerating cor-
poral punishment in the plant. However, there remain reports of on-going physical abuse in the
plant. "When you get in trouble, they will grab your face and smack you on the head. There is
one that goes around with a stick and will hit you on the head with it," said a 24-year-old man
who's worked there for two years.
A 22-year-old male worker reported that the foreign "managers touch the women inappropri-
ately on the breasts. They pretend it is a joke." A 27-year-old man who's worked at BJ&B for
over three years added, "They say to the women what a nice little ass you have, or whatever,
depending on what they are touching."
No safe water to drink. A 20-year-old woman who's worked at BJ&B for one year reported,
"There is lots of dust and lots of heat. We all sweat, and in the afternoon the sun starts to burn."
But workers say that it's not safe to drink the water in the plants. People believe that the water
is infested with parasites. Once workers
actually found a mound of ringworms in
the water, but when they showed the
manager, he just laughed. Most workers "
bring water from home in a thermos, if
they can afford one. "Don't drink the
water," one woman bluntly warned.
Health and safety. The company's
health and safety practices also reveal
BJ&B's irresponsibility. Workers'
descriptions indicate that the company
fails at basic industrial safety practices.
Workers report that emergency exits
aren't marked; that strings were drawn k ito those factor
across the plant to pen workers into their
work areas; that at least one woman suf-
fered a serious injury after tripping over
one of these strings: and that machines
lack guards to protect workers' hands.
Punishing the injured. Bad practices
often lead to bad accidents. But at
BJ&B, if you're hurt on the job, don't
expect compassionate treatment. i
Workers described at least two incidents In eyl djoe eriorate as
in which workers who were injured on ar in ac"
the job were eventually fired by the
company. .


PAGE 4/4




APR-15-98 14 10 FROM:COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT ID-2125823175 PAGE 1/5
The Company Doc. Workers say that BJ&B requires them to go first to the company doctor
and to pay for whatever expensive medicine that doctor prescribes rather than permitting them
to go directly to the govemment-fianced clinic for free doctor visits and free medicine.
Workers believe this is a way to pressure them to work even if they are sick or injured. They say
they are only allowed to go to the clinic if the company doctor gives permission.
Suppressing The RightTo Organize
Why do workers put up with conditions such as these? Because they say that BJ&B illegally
fires workers who try to organize to change these conditions.
At the end of 1996, some workers from the town of Piedra Blanca began talking to union rep-
resentatives. According to workers, within two
months the company started firing almost
every worker from that town. For example,
the company called a 22-year-old woman into
the main office. "The manager told me I was
on a union list and that's why he was firing
me," she said. By March 1997, dozens of
workers-mostly from Piedra Blanca and near-
by Zona 2-had been fired.
One of the few workers from Villa
Altagracia who was fired was a 25-year-old
student who had worked at BJ&B for 3 years.
"They told me outright that I was going to be
fired for union activities. Then the managers
told me that if I would spy on my co-workers,
I could keep my job. When I refused, they
fired me on the spot."
A 22-year-old woman who had been fired
for union activity concluded, "Just the small-
est hint of workers coming together on work
issues and there is a mass lay-off. The compa-
ny doesn't care who they sacrifice as long as
they have made their point and stopped any
activity."








'They told me outright that I was going to be fired for union
activities. Then the managers told me that if I would spy on

my co-workers, I could keep my job. When I refused, they
fired me on the spot."




APR-15-98 14 12 FROM=COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT


ID.2125923175


BJ&B Is a Sweatshop
There is no one definition of what a sweatshop is. Some use the term to describe an industri-
al plant in which people work in poverty. By that definition, BJ&B is a sweatshop.
Others use the term to describe a company that squeezes workers economically, turning the
screws tighter regardless of the underlying economics of the business. By that definition, BJ&B
is a sweatshop.
Another definition is a company that systematically breaks the laws that provide some pro-
tection to workers. And by that definition, BJ&B is a sweatshop.
A sweatshop can be a place where workers are treated abusively. Or it can be a workplace
where the right of workers to organize for improved conditions is suppressed. And by these
definitions, BJ&B is a sweatshop.
But the nomenclature doesn't really matter. What does matter is changing the unjust condi-
tions faced by workers at Villa Altagracia.

It doesn't have to be this way.
Remember, the cost of the labor in a college cap is 8g. The cap sells for $19.95. There is no
necessity for university insignia gear to be produced under sweatshop conditions. "What I want
to know is why do we get paid so little if these caps sell for so much?" asked a 20-year-old
woman who has been at BJ&B for one year. Both workers and college students are demanding
an answer to this question.
Apparently, BJ&B thinks colleges and universities don't care about the conditions under
which their campus caps are made and its many violations of Dominican law. Even the workers
were surprised to learn that students in the U.S. were concerned about their wages and their
rights. But surprise quickly gave way to excitcmcnl."lt's great that thcy're interested, that they
care about our situation," said a 20-year-old fired student worker who had labored for two
years at BJ&B. "They need to know that we don't get paid enough to cover our basic needs,"
added a 25-year-old mother who's been working there for two years.


PAGE 2/5




rn-to-uu 14=13 FROM=COMMUNICATION DEPAR
TMENT


TIrl -M 1Ia


3/5


I


PAGE
The Duke Licensing Code. Duke University recently announced a acw code fco ct for
companies that license the Duke name. These companies must meet certain standards. They
must publicly reveal where their work is done. Duke has committed to setting up a system for
enforcing its code.
This courageous step by Duke deserves recognition. This step is an acknowledgement of
responsibility, and a step toward accountability. Several features of the Duke code deserve par-
ticular mention:
1. Protection of the right to organize. Unless workers have the power to hold compa-
nies accountable, no system of protection is going to be effective.
2. Preference for companies that show leadership in workplace practices. This clause
allows Duke to reward companies that pay living wages.
3. Public disclosure. So long as the locations are hidden, sweatshops will proliferate.
4. Independent monitoring. Monitoring that is not truly independent is always sus-
pect, and at worst can lead to cover-ups rather than uncovering workplace problems.
The Duke code isn't perfect. But it provides a genuine opportunity. It will be hard for Duke to
accomplish its goals alone. But if other universities join in, a multi-university code could make
a significant impact on the lives of workers at BJ&B, and at many similar plants around the
world.
Unfortunately, there are real problems with codes if they are adopted not to foster meaningful
change, but just to handle a public relations problem. Weak or watered down codes are worse
than no codes at all. A weak code can be used to bless conditions which should be condemned.
In the coming weeks and months, student leaders, administrators, and others who care about
the sweatshop issue have a chance to take action by adopting licensing codes that at minimum
have the features of the Duke code.
It is fitting that the university community should take leadership in this area. Our universities
so often are at the forefront of important moral issues. And yet it is the name of the university
itself that is attached to sweatshop-made goods. Harvard Provost Harvey Fineburg once said
that, "All members of the University and the institution as a whole benefit when its name is
well used, and suffer
when it is ill used."
Perhaps for universi-
ties that join Duke in
adopting an effective
licensing code, the
good use of the univer-
sity name may benefit
hundreds of thousands
of workers like those
in Villa Altagracia.




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