The Daily Cardinal Monday, November 17, 2003

SLAC wants UW clothing worker wages public

By Emily Winter

An advisory committee to Chancellor John Wiley, the Labor Licensing Committee, unanimously decided Friday to recommend Wiley force all UW-Madison licensees to disclose the wages they pay their workers.

The Student Labor Action Coalition has been meeting with the LLC this semester to push for wage disclosure, which would require companies making UW-Madison apparel to report to the university the exact salaries they pay employees worldwide. SLAC members said they felt now is an appropriate time to make such a request because UW-Madison may add Nike, which has had a history of problems with employee treatment, as a licensee.

According to Liana Dalton, SLAC and LLC member and UW-Madison sophomore, the LLC will present its proposal to Wiley this week for the final decision.

Though Wiley still must approve the LLC's recommendation, Dalton and other SLAC members said they are optimistic about his impending decision.

"Since it was unanimous and this is a committee that was set up to advise him and he takes the advice seriously, I think that he will do it," said Samantha Ashley, SLAC member and UW-Madison senior.

To raise awareness about the necessity of wage disclosure, SLAC hosted a banner drop on Bascom Hill and Library Mall Friday, Dalton said.

However, Ashley said she knows Wiley has other contract concerns and may not agree to wage disclosure because it would not be the best financial decision for the university. Still, she said she thinks wage disclosure is more important.

"There might be other business concerns involved, but I hope that that won't cloud his judgement," Ashley said.

to wage disclosure page
to SLAC main page