Come learn about SCALE at our weekly meeting every Wednesday at 7:00pm in
As of July 1st, 2013, President Nikias has agreed to affiliate with the Worker Rights Consortium, the only independent collegiate factory monitor, to ensure that workers who produce our USC apparel have safe and secure workplace conditions. This huge success would not have happened without your integral position in our coalition! USC is one step closer taking responsibility for its workers and protecting all members of the Trojan family.
But now, more than ever, it is important for USC students to band together to ensure that the student voice is heard and respected on campus. The Sweat-Free ‘SC coalition fought long and hard last year to make sure the rights of workers making Trojan apparel were protected. It’s time to continue that fight, and begin a new one as well.
Our dining hall workers have been living under atrocious conditions for years now. Verbal abuse, sexual harassment, reduced hours and benefits, and wages far below living standards in Los Angeles - all of these things are a daily reality for workers on USC’s campus. Recently, managers have begun enforcing policies to limit contact between workers and students, and to ban the use of Spanish in the workplace. How can USC ever be truly sweat-free if sweatshop conditions are allowed to exist on our own campus? Fortunately, the workers current contract will be expiring this summer, and this is the perfect opportunity to make real change in their workplace lives. It will take students and workers organizing together to rally support for this upcoming struggle throughout the year.
At the same time, the international fight is far from over. Bangladesh, the second largest garment exporting country in the world with over 40 collegiate apparel brands, routinely ignores worker rights, pays the lowest wage rate in the world of $37/month, and cuts costs associated with worker safety and building upkeep. Many of the buildings in Bangladesh are poorly constructed with weak foundations, and lack proper fire exits. The latest assessment of factories in Bangladesh by engineers found that only one in 10 garment factory buildings were structurally sound, indicating that workplace safety hazards are systemic in Bangladesh. Fortunately, in the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse which killed 1,132 garment factory workers, over 80 apparel brands and retailers have signed on to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. This historic agreement between global and Bangladeshi unions and apparel brands addresses the root causes of industrial disasters in the garment industry. We’re asking coalition partners to sign on to a letter asking USC to amend their code of conduct requiring brands who produce USC apparel to comply with the requirement of the Accord.
The University of Southern California is an institution that strives to be bigger and better. From the research labs to the athletics department, every aspect of this university is devoted to raising the bar, and we believe that USC needs to raise the bar for how its workers are treated. We want to be able to attend our university with pride, knowing that every member of the Trojan family, including its workers, are treated with respect and dignity!