Background Reading for WRC Annual Meeting – May 4


April 24, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

In advance of the Worker Rights Consortium University Caucus Meeting on Thursday, May 4, I want to share this background material with you, which you may find it useful to review prior to the meeting.

  • In Cambodia and Honduras, the WRC built on our track record of ensuring that workers receive legally owed compensation when factories close without paying. The WRC successfully pressed both licensees and other brands to ensure that workers received the funds that they were owed at both of these collegiate factories.
  • The Alta Gracia factory in the Dominican Republic continues to transform workers’ lives by paying a living wage three times the local minimum wage, and demonstrating exemplary compliance with university standards.
  • In Bangladesh, the Accord has continued its life-saving work. You can see here a snapshot of the 64,000 safety improvements made to date. Meanwhile, the WRC helped lead the international response to a repressive crackdown against Bangladeshi workers in December; the crackdown is described in this New York Times article and editorial.
  • As a result of WRC investigations, university suppliers in Haiti and El Salvador reinstated workers who were terminated in retaliation for their associational activities, enabling these workers to return to their workplaces where they continue to advocate for better conditions.
  • As you know, the WRC has issued a number of communications concerning Nike’s position on university labor standards and monitoring, and concerning labor rights violations and remediation at the Hansae Vietnam factory. You can read WRC communications regarding Hansae here, here, and here.
  • In response to university requests, the WRC has also issued this analysis of new contract language proposed by Nike that would significantly diminish universities’ power to determine the conditions under which logo goods are produced.
  • Last Thursday, a coalition including Human Rights Watch and the WRC issued a report announcing increased supply chain disclosures by a number of international brands and retailers, including a number of university licensees, in response to the coalition’s call for firms to sign a Transparency Pledge. You can find a WRC statement on the crucial role of universities historically in promoting such transparency here.

Our meeting agenda can be found here; background information is now available as well on our speakers including Brian Ross (Chief Investigative Correspondent for ABC News), participants in our Licensee Roundtable, and several international experts who will be speaking to us over video.

I look forward seeing you in Washington and discussing the developments of the past year.



Scott Nova
Executive Director
Worker Rights Consortium
[email protected]