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Appalachian to affiliate with Workers Rights Consortium on licensed apparel

BOONE—Appalachian State University has decided to affiliate with the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC), a group that collaborates with workers, non-governmental organizations and other colleges and universities to improve the conditions of workers producing licensed collegiate apparel.

“This decision is in perfect alignment with Appalachian’s commitment to deep sustainability which requires us to consider our actions in relationship to our environment, economics, and the equity concerns of our local and global neighbors,” said Chancellor Sheri N. Everts.

The decision to affiliate with WCR follows the administration’s discussions with students. Chancellor Everts added, “Affiliating with WRC is in line with the university’s mission and strategic plan, and represents the core values our students, faculty and staff embody every day. The university looks forward to working with WRC officials to pursue decent working conditions and reasonable compensation for those who produce goods bearing Appalachian’s trademarks.”

Colleges and universities affiliated with the WRC have a manufacturing Code of Conduct that addresses the following issues: wages, hours of work, overtime compensation, freedom of association, workplace safety and health, compliance with local laws, women’s rights, child labor and forced labor, harassment and abuse in the workplace, and non-discrimination. Appalachian has adopted a manufacturing Code of Conduct that is an element of all contracts with its licensees.

Upon affiliating with the WRC, Appalachian will require full public disclosure of factory locations and will notify its licensees that this information must be provided within three months. The university commits to require full and regularly updated public disclosure of factory locations, including those of contractors and subcontractors. Appalachian has designated Associate Athletics Director Brittney Whiteside as the university’s primary contact for WRC matters.

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