Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dean of students discovers origin of his apparel

No Sweat!, a local group against the use of sweatshop labor for University apparel, joined in a weekend-long panel discussion examining IU’s free trade practices. The discussions defined free trade, evaluated the University’s past performance and offered solutions for the future.

Among those in attendance were No Sweat!’s Philip Shelton, who told us he owns some University apparel made in foreign countries. He said the merchandise was given to him as a gift.

Dick McKaig, IU dean of students, told us his Hurricane Katrina relief bracelet was made in China, a country Shelton said is the world’s worst violator of sweatshop labor laws.

By Maggie Bozich, Rick Newkirk and Mallory Simon

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Universities to take a stand for fair labor

Participants met Friday in a forum to discuss setting university policy on producing licensed apparel in sweatshops.

Representatives from across the state and country, including experts from the University of Notre Dame, DePaul University and IU discussed ways to prevent apparel from being made in sweatshops, and the impact universities can have to promote fair labor practices worldwide.

Members of IU’s “No Sweat” group said they have a great working relationship with IU administrators, and will continue to work to improve university policy. Meanwhile a professor from Depaul University said she ‘s planning on bringing the information back to the school, and was unsure about its policy on fair labor practices.

By Jake Brown and Mike Wilson

Workshops inspire student involvement

Friday, September 30, 2005 a group of activists met in one of the basement classrooms in Woodburn Hall to discuss what IU’s role in Fair Trade can be in the future. This meeting was organized b the Indiana University’s Anti-Sweatshop Advisory Committee and featured three speakers from various organizations.

The speakers discussed the relationship between universities and the companies that make the apparel, the working conditions different companies employee’s work in and the ways universities can influence companies to improve their working conditions.

A fact presented at the meeting was that several workers who have tried to improve conditions in the factories in South America by forming unions have been killed for doing so.

By Josh Kastrinsky and Mike Malik
The speakers shown in this video talk about fair trade. Some speakers believe that fair trade can be achieved through government intervention while others protest that the way things are ran in other countries is the way it should remain.

Regulation of business practices is the most efficient way of providing and protecting free trade. Still others maintain that the business of trade gives jobs to those who would otherwise have a choice of unemployment and thus no income.

A job, according to one speaker, is better than having no job. Inside is a sample of clips from this fair trade conference that best showcases the arguments of the speakers.

By Eric Smith and Andrew Shaffer

Collegiate adminstrators claim schools have higher responsibility

The University of Notre Dame was the first university to address sweatshop labor, said William Hoye, assistant vice president and deputy general counsel.

Hoye spoke about the difficulties of not dealing with countries that didn’t recognize the right to labor organization, which include China. Specifically, he said bobblehead dolls – and anything diecast – are almost exclusively made in China.

Following Hoye was Jim Wilkerson from Duke University. Wilkerson is the director of trademark licensing and store operations for Duke, a university he said dealt with much more apparel than most.

Wilkerson and Hoye downplayed the accomplishments of their respective universities, saying much more could be done to reduce sweatshop labor-made collegiate apparel.

Both said universities had a higher ethical standard – they had a responsibility to blaze a trail toward stopping the use of sweatshop labor.

By Catherine Hageman and Sam Nissen

Dean defends IU sweatshop policy

Dean of Students Richard McKaig speaks on the importance of opening the lines of communication regarding IU and other University apparel licensing and sweatshop labor. McKaig acknowledges that IU isn’t perfect but it has made strides to prevent patronizing unethical factories. By Ryan Mcleland and Michael Zennie

Students sweat it out

Thursday, Sept. 29, 2005 – “The University and Free Trade” Conference in Ballantine Hall on the Indiana University-Bloomington campus. First session: Conditions in garment factories.

About 30 audience members listened to opening remarks by Dean of Students Richard McKaig, Chair of the Indiana University Anti-Sweatshop Advisory Committee, and watched a documentary film “Sweating for a T-Shirt,” which demonstrated conditions in sweatshops and the hardships sweatshop workers endure. A panel of two speakers involved in anti-sweatshop organizations, Philip Shelton and Mark Franciose, followed the video with explanations of their research and personal experiences visiting sweatshops. Shelton is an IU student involved in No Sweat!, and Franciose is a Purdue University student involved in United Students Against Sweatshops.

This vlogging project includes clips of highlights of their research presentations.

By Lori Snow