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U of Michigan Student Labor Group Leads Protest

A University of Michigan student group called Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality is demanding that clothing and other products which bear the U of M logo be produced under humane working conditions.

The group wants to verify that the factories producing university goods do not use underage workers, underpay their workers, or expose their workers to unsafe conditions. To achieve their goal, students led a sit-in outside of University President Lee Bollinger’s office Wednesday. The group did not succeed in arranging a meeting, given that Bollinger was not in his office. Students plan to resume their sit-in protest today.

The University of Michigan is one of the Collegiate Licensing Company’s best clients. The Atlanta-based giant licenses products for more than 170 colleges. Similar protests and demonstrations have taken place at at least six other colleges including Brown, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, and Wisconsin.

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Spokesperson Kenneth Rivers said that Collegiate Licensing Co. doesn’t always have knowledge of where and how its goods are manufactured.

Sources:

Reuters - March 18, 1999

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