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united students against sweatshops

March  18,  2012 Dear Father Lannon: We are writing on behalf of Creighton students involved with United Students Against Sweatshops to request that Creighton affiliate with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), an independent organization that monitors the factories that produce Bluejay apparel. In the spirit of Ignatian teaching, we are concerned that Bluejay apparel is currently produced under sweatshop conditions. We've become aware that workers producing Creighton apparel have been working under conditions in which they have no voice on the job, little to no safety regulations, are not paid a living wage, and have no avenue to address regular concerns of sexual harassment, forced overtime, and improper firing of workers attempting to organize against these conditions. As students and the primary consumers of Creighton logo apparel, we would like to ensure that we can buy and wear our university apparel with pride. However, we are concerned that the current avenue for us to ensure that our apparel is not made in sweatshops is limited. While we recognize the University’s efforts to promote economic justice through affiliation with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and provision of a small selection of Alta Gracia apparel, in the spirit of magis, we believe we can do more. We have researched monitoring organizations and found that the WRC is widely recognized as a legitimate monitor for factories that produce collegiate apparel. The WRC currently has over 170 university affiliates including the entire University of California school system and 13 other Jesuit universities. Included in the list of Jesuit schools are Marquette, St. Louis, Xavier, Gonzaga, and Georgetown, universities that are similar in size, demographics, prestige, and athletic reputation to Creighton. Creighton Preparatory School is also affiliated with the WRC. In light of the examples of these institutions, we believe affiliation with the WRC would be a realistic and positive step towards labor justice, in line with our Jesuit values of solidarity and justice and our commitment to an unwavering preferential option for the poor. We trust that you share our concern about the conditions under which Creighton logo apparel is produced and the best way to ensure that our clothing is fairly made is for Creighton to affiliate with the WRC. We would be happy to meet with you personally to further discuss the WRC and any outstanding concerns. We will look forward to hearing from you by March 28, 2012 and will follow up if we do not receive a response by then. Thank you for your consideration and continued commitment to justice. AMDG, United Students Against Sweatshops National affiliate of United Students Against Sweatshops creightonusas@gmail.com


Letter to Father Lannon