What is the WRC? Why should my school join?
The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) is a non-profit organization created in 2001 by students, labor rights experts, and workers from across the globe with the participation of college and university administrators. The WRC’s purpose is to investigate worker rights abuses in factories producing college-logoed apparel to ensure that the Codes of Conduct adopted by colleges, universities, high schools, and school districts are enforced; these codes are designed to ensure that factories producing clothing and other goods bearing school logos respect the basic rights of workers, such as the freedom to organize a union and dignified wages and working conditions. For the past decade, USAS student activists have pressured more than 180 colleges and universities to affiliate with the WRC, and their cumulative power has resulted in transformative change for workers’ rights in the $3 billion collegiate apparel industry.
USAS has been the driving force behind the WRC since day one. Students were the original authors of the very first university Codes of Conduct. After we pressured universities across the country to adopt these Codes of Conduct governing the rights of workers in the factories were our schools’ apparel was produced, we created the WRC to enforce these Codes, and then we made national headlines when we waged huge rallies, protest, and sit-ins across the country to pressure our universities to pay affiliation fees to affiliate with and fund the investigations of the WRC. Through WRC affiliation campaigns, we’ve been able to build student and worker power around the world and demonstrate its legitimacy. Since we created the WRC, it has conducted investigations through which USAS and garment workers have won campaigns against sweatshop conditions around the globe, from Honduras, to Indonesia, to Alabama. WRC affiliation campaigns work to build the cumulative power of our student movement for workers’ rights.
Resources United Students Against Sweatshops can offer you:
– Materials to do educational events at your school, such as videos, literature, and speakers.
– An organizing manual to help you formulate campaign strategy.
– Connections to labor and community organizations in your area that will be your allies in these campaigns, as well as connections to worker organizations around the world.
– A whole network of students around the country who are running these campaigns and winning! USAS chapters have so much to offer each other in terms of strategy, advice, and student power.
– Assistance from regional and national USAS organizers
– Let us know what else you need!
Some schools currently running WRC affiliation campaigns…
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Baylor University, Waco, TX
Emory University, GA
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
University of Texas – Austin, Austin, TX
Student Campaign Wins for WRC Affiliation in 2011…
Northeastern University, Boston, MA
or call Teresa Cheng at 925-330-4449