Reversing its position, the University of Texas said Wednesday that it would join a second organization that monitors the rights of workers in foreign factories producing UT apparel.
The decision to join the Washington-based Worker Rights Consortium is a victory for student activists who have staged protests to decry what they called sweatshop conditions. In one such protest in April, 18 people, mostly students, were arrested on charges of trespassing for occupying a foyer outside the office of UT President Bill Powers.
But it was a calmer and more cordial exchange involving university officials and student activists that led to the university's decision, Powers told the American-Statesman. "We had very productive discussions, a couple of meetings. They made very good presentations about the added value of WRC."
UT will maintain its affiliation with the Fair Labor Association, which also monitors factory conditions. The activists consider the association too industry-oriented.