Volume 94, Issue 18


Band was never scheduled: agent

BOG sets mandate against sweatshops

Weldon fails grade

Trudeau dead at 80

Hockey's changing face

High schools may turn to parents for help

Line-ups force cancer patients to the US

BOG sets mandate against sweatshops

By Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff

Western's Board of Governors carried a motion yesterday to ensure no product bearing the Western name or logo can be produced by sweatshop labour.

The BOG's campus and community affairs committee successfully proposed a code of conduct on trademark licensing that aims to guarantee basic working conditions to any worker who makes a product associated with Western.

Jim Etherington, chair of the committee, said Western's code has been modelled on pre-existing codes at the University of Toronto and the University of California.

"U of T got started about a year before we did; they finally completed their work early in the spring. We also looked at the Univeristy of California agreement," Etheringtton said. "We looked at it and said this makes a lot of sense to us. There was no real need for us to go back to ground zero.

"There are some general changes, not a lot. They're virtually the same," he added.

Etherington said he expects other Canadian universities to follow the example set by U of T and Western and adopt trademark licensing codes of their own.

"I wouldn't be surprised if most other universities and colleges will follow along fairly quickly and that is when it's actually going to work best," he commented. "When everyone is there looking the licensees in the face and saying, 'we ain't going to do it unless we do it this way – that's when it will work best."

While the code establishes guidelines for companies contracted to Western, it does not specify how the rules will be enforced, Etherington admitted.

"In effect we do not yet have an internal monitoring verification process and we're going to continue to work to develop that."

Tina Conlon, Canadian programming officer for the Ontario Region of Oxfam, a human rights organization, said she likes the idea of the code but worries without any clear enforcement strategy it may prove ineffectual.

"I think it's a good sign, but codes are one thing and the implementation of them is another," Conlon said.

On the other hand, she added, she is optimistic that any university willing to ratify such a code can ensure it is obeyed.

"I think even if they can begin to write about it, they have the capacity to change things," she said.

Dave Braun, president of the University Students' Council, said he questioned whether a rigorous enforcement of the code could be done in a cost-effective way.

"I do think any code of conduct of this sort is difficult to implement and to have absolute, full implementation would be almost cost-prohibitive," he said.

Braun added he did not perceive widespread student interest in the issue on Western's campus.

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