The Higgins Labor Cafe on Friday provided an update on Notre Dame’s licensing pilot program implemented in October 2015 and took student and community input for how to proceed.All Notre Dame licensed goods, which include anything that has the Notre Dame logo on it, are produced by other brands, which usually outsource the actual production of the good. In the interest of worker rights, especially in light of Catholic Social Teaching, Notre Dame has a code of conduct for all factories that produce Notre Dame-licensed goods. This code has a zero tolerance policy for the production of goods in countries that do not promote freedom of association, which means allowing workers to unionize.“Freedom of association is long recognized in the anti-sweatshop and licensing world as a hallmark that should be aspired towards, this idea that workers are free not to just come and go and quit as they please, but also to form unions and bargain collectively,” Dan Graff, Director of the Higgins Labor Program at the Center for Social Concerns, said.According to Graff, Notre Dame may be the only university with the strict zero tolerance policy for outsourcing production to countries that do not allow freedom of association. While there are only 11 countries that do not allow workers to unionize, one of those countries is China, which Graff called “the workshop of the world.”In a pilot program, Notre Dame started allowing production in five factories in China that met certain conditions. The Worker Participation Committee (WPC), which includes the Student Worker Participation Committee (SWPC) deciding this semester whether to keep the pilot program in China or whether to remove the zero tolerance requirement from the code of conduct in favor of a softer policy that would consider a situational approach.On one hand, the right to unionize is an important part of workers’ ability to gain other rights listed in the Notre Dame code, SWPC member and former student body president Bryan Ricketts said. The SWPC and WPC found in audits of other factories, though, that some of the factories producing Notre Dame-licensed goods seem to be helping workers’ rights less than the factories in the pilot program in China.“Many of the factories we evaluated in China had better practices than the ones in countries that actually had freedom of association,” Ricketts said. “We thought this freedom of association policy was going to protect the integrity of our goods but also the rights of workers who were making the goods for us, and it turns out they didn’t do such a hot job of that.”Graff called the issue “messy and complicated,” adding he thinks workers would rather be in a Chinese factory than an Indian one due to better pay and conditions, even though workers do not have the right to unionize in China.A separate issue the committee is considering is the process for auditing the 700 factories currently producing Notre Dame-licensed goods. Right now, Notre Dame uses reports from the Fair Labor Association, but, according to Graff, the University wants to make sure it does more than “check the box” on the audit requirement.Graff called the problem “much bigger than our university.”“We as a country are using these kinds of codes and then we can say all these conditions are being met in the factories that we are sourcing from, and yet I don’t know anybody who studies the global supply chains and would say in the past 15 or 20 years that wages or working conditions or living standards have improved in those sectors. … We, as consumers in this country, really have to think about if it hasn’t been improving globally, then what does it mean to have audits?”Tags: China, factories, Higgins Labor Cafe, Higgins Labor Program, Worker Participation Committee
Press Association “I feel I’ve been honest throughout my whole career and I want to be honest now to whoever I’m speaking to, whether it’s the fans, the manager or anyone. “Every fan would realise that there’s big potential in our team and we have players who can go and play at a higher level – we proved that when there were 16 of our lads away on international duty. “I’m certainly ambitious. I want to one day play in the Champions League and compete for the Premier League title, but I still feel like I’m the same guy I was when we were playing in League One and the Championship. “I haven’t changed my personality or changed as a person. It’s a privilege to be in this position and I wouldn’t change it for the world.” This has been a fine campaign for the 26-year-old, whose wonderful performances saw him nominated for the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award and named in the team of the season. This week Lallana cleaned up at Southampton’s annual awards and the attacking midfielder is set to be named in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad on Monday – less than 24 hours after what is being billed in some quarters as his last match for Southampton. The academy graduate has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool and some interpreted the emotional nature of his awards night speech on Tuesday as a hint that his future lies away from St Mary’s. “I got emotional because it’s been a journey that I couldn’t have dreamed of – but I’m not saying that this is the end by any means,” Lallana told the Southampton matchday magazine ahead of the match with Manchester United. “Obviously, with how well the club and its players have done, there are going to be some decisions to make in the summer, and maybe it all hit home a little bit when I was speaking. “How far we’ve come in a short space of time is beyond anyone’s belief. We’ve won our league, in our eyes, with where we’ve finished. “We’re now in a position where we have to sit down as a club and decide what is best and what’s the right route to take, because we want to be a stable club – that’s the main thing. “We want to be competing in the Premier League for the next four or five years and forever longer.” Lallana is not the only big name to have been linked with a move away from Saints, with teenager Luke Shaw and manager Mauricio Pochettino also attracting admiring glances. “I just want to be honest,” Lallana added. Adam Lallana wants to be challenging for the title and playing Champions League football, but the England international insists that does not necessarily mean he will leave Southampton this summer.
Jimmy Butler declared “I don’t care about being loved all the time” after being given a rough ride by Minnesota Timberwolves fans on his return to the Target Center on Saturday.Butler was booed in his first game in Minnesota since he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers last November. NBA wrap: James Harden notches 50-point triple-double; Kings eliminated from playoff contention The four-time NBA All-Star had the last laugh after the 76ers won 118-109 with Butler claiming 13 rebounds, five assists and scoring 12 points.Butler took the hostile reception in his stride and stated: “I don’t care about being loved all the time. It’s no fun that way.” Related News When asked about the boos, he added: “It wasn’t too bad.” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown had no concerns that Butler would be affected by the fans’ response that would come his way.Brown said prior to the game: “He thrives under blankets of controversy. I greatly respect it, and I think when you look at the high-level competitors, it is part of their DNA.”It is certainly part of his DNA.”