The AU End Deathtraps Coalition hosted a protest outside of AU President Neil Kerwin’s office Sept. 5.
The group protested the University’s partnership with clothing manufacturers that they say endangered workers, especially those based in Bangladesh, according to protestor Paige Moeller, a junior in the School of International Service. The companies do not currently comply with the safety regulations laid out in the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
“There have been massive deaths involved in the factories because they don’t follow safety accords,” Moeller said. “What we’re trying to do is get AU to push these companies to start regulating more and making it a safe working environment.”
If the companies refuse to comply, the coalition wants the University to stop partnering with them, Moeller said.
The coalition read a letter outlining its concerns to two members of Kerwin’s staff, as well as a list of companies that support its efforts.
The group began petitioning the University to take action last spring. The administration released a memo on April 21 in response to the protests, stating that they would not maintain partnerships with any companies that refused to sign the safety accords within 30 days, the Eagle previously "reported":http://www.theeagleonline.com/article/2014/04/student-pressure-project-team-lead-the-university-to-amend-vendor-code-of-conduct.
However, the administration has yet to enforce this, which is why the coalition is protesting, Moeller said.
“AU said they will force the companies to sign the health and safety accord and they haven’t done so,” she said. “So basically it was an empty promise.”