Worker Rights Consortium

The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) is an independent labor rights monitoring organization focused on protecting the rights of workers who sew apparel and make other products sold in the United States, particularly those bearing college or university logos. The WRC conducts independent, in-depth investigations, issues public reports on factories producing for major global brands, and aids workers at these factories in their efforts to end labor abuses and defend their workplace rights. The WRC was founded in 2000 by university administrators, labor rights experts, and student activists including members of United Students Against Sweatshops. The WRC has over 150 college and university affiliates and a number of high school affiliates.[1] A number of universities in the United Kingdom have also become affiliates.[2]

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When a school affiliates with the WRC, the school is required to include a Code of Conduct in its licensing agreements with brands that manufacture their apparel. The code of conduct typically includes bans on forced overtime, child labor, bonded labor, and discrimination of any kind, including gender discrimination, and affirms workers' rights to a living wage, a safe work environment, and freedom of association and collective bargaining. The WRC sends representatives to facilities in Global South where the apparel is being produced to monitor whether the code of conduct is being upheld. The WRC then makes annual, public reports on the working conditions in the facilities. When a factory is found to not be upholding the Code of Conduct, the company or companies – often major international brands – who sub-contracted to that factory are usually threatened with the termination of their licensing contract(s) unless they exert pressure on the factory to improve work conditions.

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