Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

SGA Senate debates joining Worker Rights Consortium

Debate at the SGA Senate meeting Thursday focused on the possibility of joining the Worker Rights Consortium. The proposal was first discussed last week, but the floor was opened for general debate in the most recent meeting. Arguments focused on whether or not to pass the resolution to join the WRC, despite University of Alabama President Judy Bonner and her administration’s indecision on the issue thus far.

The WRC is a labor rights monitoring organization that works to protect the rights of workers who make apparel for the United States, particularly those affiliated with colleges and universities. The final decision on the resolution was postponed until this week so the Senate can get more feedback on how the student body feels about joining this organization.

“It is important when you are representing the whole student body that you get a general barometer of how they feel about the issue,” Jake Eiger, a senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, said.

(See also “SGA meeting discusses worker rights, slave memorial“)

Another concern against passing the resolution for the WRC was with getting approval from the administration first. Bonner has so far not shown support for or opposition to the WRC.

Gregory Poole, a senator for the Graduate School, led the debate on the side of postponing the resolution to next week. Poole asserted that the SGA should not pass the resolution without knowing whether the administration has approved or shown interest.

“We have accomplished some great things this semester with SGA and the administration,” Poole said. “My concern is that if we pass this resolution without the support of the administration, then we might lose some influence with them.”

However, not all senators came out in opposition to the resolution. Some said they feel that showing progress and passing this resolution to affiliate with the WRC will benefit the University and many people associated with the production of University apparel in the long run.

Anthony James, a senator from the College of Arts and Sciences, showed his full support for passing the resolution. He lead the debate by discussing concerns for the workers at home and overseas and how they are being treated, using factory collapses in Bangladesh as examples of the need for safety regulations in these factories.

(See also “Event hosts factory collapse survivor“)

“The WRC has a direct relation with people and factories that need to be monitored,” James said.

James also said he was concerned that waiting for the administration’s approval might not be the right course of action.

“It is shown throughout all of history of students having fear of making concrete change on their universities,” James said. “That is the bigger issue here.”

Eiger said he believes students across campus will be polled about their opinion of the Worker Rights Consortium within the next week.

(See also “Group to host speakers on fair labor“)

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