The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday October 4th

DSP supports a bottom-up solution empowerment


Pablo Friedmann's column"" (""Students can opt for better apparel"" Sept. 17"") completely misses the point of the DSP debate.

Friedmann's alternative to the DSP is for students to buy UNC apparel from a company called Counter Sourcing" which pays higher salaries to workers in its Bangladesh factory.

However students shouldn't have to go out of their way to avoid investing in human rights abuse. As Friedmann pointed out last week the University already has codes of conduct requiring its apparel to be made under fair humane conditions.

The problem is that factories are in virtually universal noncompliance with these codes; this has been reported by workers visiting our campus and by SAW members who have been to the factories and was confirmed this spring by Fair Labor Association head Jorge Perez Lopez.

Nor does Counter Sourcing represent change from the bottom up as Friedmann claims.

Whereas Fair Trade is an international certification and monitoring organization the bottom of the chain are the workers themselves. They are on the factory floor every day; they know the most about their needs.

A truly bottom-up solution would be to empower these workers by guaranteeing the right to organize and collectively bargain issues that are conspicuously absent from Friedmann's column and from the Counter Sourcing Web site.

The DSP on the other hand supports these rights.

Linda Gomaa and Charlie Soeder
Student Action with Workers

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