In Brief

Tufts Joins Apparel Labor Monitoring Group

The university is now an affiliate of the Worker Rights Consortium, which investigates working conditions in factories that make college-branded clothing
April 29, 2014

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Tufts University has become an affiliate of the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), an independent labor rights organization that investigates working conditions in factories around the world that make university-related apparel. The WRC seeks to improve conditions for workers at those factories.

Tufts joins more than 180 other colleges and universities that are affiliated members of the WRC. Other Boston-area members include Harvard, MIT and Boston College.

“With the encouragement of our students, Tufts is proud to take this step to protect workers from unsafe conditions when producing apparel for the university,” says Patricia Campbell, executive vice president of Tufts.

The WRC was founded in 2000 by a group of university administrators, students and international labor rights experts to assist colleagues and universities with the enforcement of their labor rights codes of conduct. Universities have adopted codes of conduct to protect the rights of workers producing apparel and other goods bearing their institutions’ names and logos.

When problems are identified at factories it monitors, the WRC works with licensees, factory managers, workers and worker advocates to eliminate any violations and move the factories toward compliance, according to the WRC.

“Through participating in the WRC, a university sends a strong message to all concerned parties—students, faculty, licensees and others—that the university is committed to effective code enforcement and to ensuring that the university’s licensing operations have a positive impact in the factories where logo goods are produced,” the WRC states.