A large blue check for $1.8 million sits in UW President Michael Young’s office after being presented by members of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) on Friday afternoon.
The check, signed by members of the UW community, was meant to remind Young to present a letter of final notice to the adidas Group, with which the university has an apparel contract. The $1.8 million refers to the money adidas allegedly owes its workers in Indonesia, after their severance. This would be a violation of the UW’s code of conduct.
The UW is not alone in facing these student demands — Georgetown University is investigating labor violations and the University of Wisconsin ended its contract with adidas due to the alleged violations in February of this year.
Earlier this year USAS demanded Young end the contract with the company. To reiterate this, the group sent a letter to the president with its demands. Janis Marks, Young’s scheduler, said he received their letter but she doesn’t know his current status on the response. Young was not in his office during the presentation of the check.
“It’s in the works and that’s rather broad and I don’t know enough to get any more narrowed in on that,” Marks said.
USAS member Grace Flott said the group did not expect to speak directly with Young, but members are hoping for a quick response.
“He’s already been given this recommendation and we hope that having that check in front of him will just serve as a reminder that the student body is really upset about the situation with Adidas,” Flott said. “We hope that he will take that consideration seriously and put him on notice by the end of the week.”
Want to end sweatshop abuse and help build worker power in the global economy? Join USAS’s Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns Committee!