Students Ask Chancellor Blank to "Call Us Maybe" Regarding Demands to Strengthen the UW Labor Code of Conduct

slac in bascom hall  chancellor's office
Inside Bascom Hall

Friday Oct. 11, 2013, members of Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC) congregated outside the Chancellor's office and performed a rendition "Call Me Maybe", summarizing the need for the UW to strengthen its Labor Code of Conduct and asking for increased communication with the Chancellor regarding this issue. They also dropped off a letter with a representative of the Chancellor asking her to meet with them to discuss this issue no later than Oct. 22.

Three of the largest industrial disasters in the history of the garment industry, the Tazreen Fashions factory fire (112 workers dead), the Ali Enterprises factory fire (315 workers dead), and the Rana Plaza collapse (1,132 workers dead), all have occurred in the last year alone. This crisis of worker safety in the garment industry has reached a breaking point. In order to put an end to these tragedies and ensure that no worker is producing university apparel in an unsafe workplace, SLAC is demanding that the university strengthen its Labor Code of Conduct and require that its apparel licensees sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to ensure greater accountability of university licensees for the safety of the workers who make their clothing.

Despite calls to participate in a labor-backed plan to address the problems in Bangladesh, another non-binding agreement that excludes workers and their unions has been pursued by some licensees. This agreement is called The Alliance. The Worker Rights Consortium, an independent labor monitoring organization, has denounced this alternative, saying it essentially does nothing to protect workers.

USW International President Leo W. Gerard concluded "U.S. retailers must sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which has been negotiated between the global trade union movement and more than 50 apparel brands. We can't accept sham agreements that are not enforceable and in which workers have no voice.".

SLAC delivered an earlier letter requesting a meeting with Chancellor Blank to discuss these issues over two weeks ago, to which Blank did not respond.

video - singing outside the Chancellor's office

video - singing outside Bascom Hall

slac outside of bascom hall
Outside Bascom Hall

slac index page