The Student Association Assembly passed a resolution on Thursday, March 21 requesting the UB administration to temporarily suspend its contract with New Era Cap Company until the business "eliminates its sweatshop practices."
Twenty-one members of the assembly voted to approve the resolution; three abstained. The resolution was proposed by Rebecca Town, treasurer of the UB Environmental Network and a member of United Students Against Sweatshops and was supported by Assemblyperson Adam Waitzman, a member of Friends of the New York Public Interest Research Group.
Jennifer Tuttle, speaker of the SA Assembly said it is an official, public statement that students would like the administration to suspend its contract with New Era, an action already taken by Duke University, Georgetown University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, George Washington University, University of Iowa and Central Michigan University.
New Era has been termed a "sweatshop employer" by the USAS because of anti-union activities cited by the Federal National Labor Relations Board, high worker injury rates predominantly among women cited by the Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and dismally low wages for workers in countries such as Bangladesh.
SA, in conjunction with the UB Environmental Network and NYPIRG, will soon present the resolution to UB's administration.