TORONTO, March 6 /CNW/ - Forty students have been sitting outside the
Office of the President at York University since 2:00 p.m. today, demanding
that the university implement a no sweatshop policy.
"York University has been stalling in negotiations over a no sweatshop
policy for three years," said Terrance Luscombe, a student and member of the
York Sustainable Purchasing Coalition. "We're not leaving until the President
gives us an answer."
Negotiations between the university's senior administrators and the
Sustainable Purchasing Coalition to negotiate a no-sweatshop policy began
three years ago. Recently, the Coalition submitted a draft policy for York
University to use to monitor the manufacturers of its apparel to ensure that
workers are not producing York goods in sweatshop conditions. York
University's legal counsel rejected this proposal and drafted an alternative.
"York University's counter proposal is an anti-sweatshop policy in name
only," said Luscombe. "It doesn't offer any real protection for the workers
who are abused when sewing York University t-shirts."
The York Sustainable Purchasing Coalition is demanding that the
university join the Workers Rights Consortium, a third-party independent
agency, as well as the Fair Labour Association. The Coalition is also asking
York University to use the code of conduct submitted by York students to
develop a meaningful policy.
"The University of Toronto signed a no-sweatshop agreement 10 years ago
as a result of student protest. Since then, Ryerson University has also signed
a similar agreement." said Luscombe. "Across Canada there are at least 16
universities that have 'no-sweat' or ethical purchasing policies. It's time
for York to join the 21st Century and stop turning a blind-eye to sweatshops."
For further information:
For further information: or to arrange a photo opportunity, please
contact: Terrance Luscombe, York Sustainable Purchasing Coalition, (647)
886-0729 (cell); or Ben Keen, York Federation of Students, (647) 219-8104