The Labor Rights Challenges Ahead
The risk of labor rights violations at factories making collegiate goods will be greater this year than it has ever been. We have been reporting to you on the impacts of the pandemic as they cascade across the supply chain. As the financial strain on factories deepens, their incentive to reduce costs by ignoring labor standards grows stronger. Meanwhile, many apparel brands, facing declining revenue, are cutting back on their own compliance operations. In the time I have worked on international labor rights, I have never seen a situation more fraught with danger for apparel workers and for the human rights standards intended to protect them.
The WRC is committed to working with our affiliate universities and colleges to meet this challenge head-on. As you know, we are pursuing multiple strategies to ameliorate harms, safeguard workers and their families, and uphold university standards. The experience we have gained, and the tools we’ve developed, through many years of labor rights work on behalf of the university community, position us to succeed in this vital effort.
As universities and colleges tackle the immense challenge of preparing for the new school year, I want to underscore our appreciation for your continued partnership with the WRC. We are committed to doing everything we can to protect the values you have enshrined in your labor codes as we address the unfolding crisis across the university supply chain.
My best to you, your family, and your colleagues in this time of turmoil. I look forward to working with you as we confront the labor rights challenges ahead.
Worker Rights Consortium
5 Thomas Circle, NW, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20005