“There’s a binding commitment by global brands so they’re no longer saying, ‘Oh yes, we’ll follow this code of conduct, we’ll do this monitoring,’ but it’s all voluntary,” she said. “So when it gets too hard to fix the factory, we just walk away, which has been the case.”
Rutgers’ action sends a strong message, said Charles Kernaghan, executive director of the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights.
“At least we know that the workers will be in a safe location when they make these garments for Rutgers and for other universities,” he s aid. “The workers have the right to walk off the job if they think the conditions are unsafe.”
The push for the new safety rules came after a building collapse in Bangladesh last year that killed more than 1,100 apparel workers and injured 2,500 others.