For Immediate Release
August 22, 2003
UW AGREES TO STUDENT DEMAND TO DROP TYSON FOODS
Madison, WI - Representatives from the Chancellor's office and UW Purchasing agreed today to implement a resolution passed by the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) to stop purchasing and serving Tyson Foods products in support of striking Tyson workers. Workers at the Jefferson, WI plant have been on strike since February 28th, protesting the poultry giant's union-busting tactics and pension and wage cuts.
Responding to concerns from students about the quality of food being produced by scabs at the Jefferson plant, ASM, the official student government at UW Madison, passed a resolution in June calling on the UW to disclose its ties with Tyson Foods, as well as to stop purchasing Tyson Foods products for the duration of the strike.
Figures provided by UW Purchasing show that the UW spends approximately $110,000 a year on Tyson products, primarily on chicken served by the Wisconsin Union.
Concerned students, as well as workers from UFCW Local 538 rallied outside of the UW Purchasing offices last week prior to meeting with UW officials. Though they initially appeared unwilling to implement the ASM resolution, students and strikers gave the administration another week to meet their demands.
At this Friday's meeting with students and strikers, UW officials acknowledged "a level of support for the ASM resolution" from the community, announcing that "We will, from this point forward, until the resolution of this dispute, not provide, sell, or serve Tyson products on campus."
The University now joins the ranks of the Dane County Board, the Jefferson County Board, and the Madison Metropolitan School District as bodies that have cut ties with Tyson Foods in support of the striking workers.
See also: http://www.asm.wisc.edu, http://www.tysonfamiliesstandup.org
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Student Labor Action Coalition, Madison, WI