March 13, 2003

Gear Workers Strike

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Workers that produce caps for Cornell’s athletic teams are in the midst of a strike against their factory, BJ&B, in the Dominican Republic. The 1500 unionized workers are attempting to get a contract with the factory and its owner, a private Korean company called Yupoong, according to the website of the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC).

Cornell is a member of the WRC, an independent consortium of 112 universities committed to using their administrations’ leverage to ensure fair labor conditions for the workers who produce goods bearing their school logos. Cornell joined the WRC soon after it began in early 2000, when students at the University of Pennsylvania held a sit-in to convince the school’s administration to join the newly formed WRC, according to Christina Ingoglia ’02, a member of COLA (Cornell Organization for Labor Action).

“It’s important that Cornell is involved with the WRC because it is a completely independent monitoring system. If not for the WRC, the factories could get away with whatever they wanted. The more we are involved with monitoring them, the less they can get away with, the more we are standing up for workers