United Students Against Sweatshops petitions Martin for workers’ rights
By Rachel Warren
Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
United Students Against Sweatshops protests LSU’s affiliation with Nike and its tie to sweatshops May 3 near Memorial Tower.Click here to purchase Reveille photos.
Members of United Students Against Sweatshops met with signs in hand to deliver a letter signed by about 90 students to Chancellor Michael Martin.
The letter asks Martin to unite with workers’ rights groups and discusses Nike’s work practices.
Katy Bradley, anthropology senior and USAS member, said the group wanted to make one last effort to raise awareness on campus before the semester ends.
“We like sports and we like student pride,” Bradley said. “We just want LSU to be a responsible consumer.”
Bradley said the group has had a similar protest before, but only two students attended and the letter was ignored.
“We’re hoping with more student support, we’ll make things happen,” she said.
Bradley said the issue was supposed to be brought before the Student Senate but has been put off because the group doesn’t have enough student support.
The group was just granted official organization status from Student Life this semester.
USAS member and music senior Brian Bell said the group recently gained several new members, and he hopes it will continue to grow in the years to come.
“The best thing anyone can do to help this organization is just to join it,” Bell said. “It’s the right thing to do.“
Bradley said if Thursday’s effort is still unsuccessful, the group will continue to approach the chancellor’s office with the topic.
“We can afford for these items to not come from sweatshops,” Bradley said. “And it’s the right thing to do. We want to show that we value the people working to make these clothes.”
Ernie Ballard, director of University Relations, said in an e-mail Martin had no comment on the letter at press time.
Want to end sweatshop abuse and help build power for workers in the global economy? Join USAS’s Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns Committee!