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Students Against Sweatshops to rally against labor code today

By Tate Williams
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 2, 1999
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UA students and labor groups will protest an anti-sweatshop licensing code today at noon outside the Administration building, urging university President Peter Likins to toughen up the agreement.

The University of Arizona chapter of Students Against Sweatshops organized the rally after Likins refused to add a clause for full public disclosure of factory addresses.

Members of SAS met with the president Friday, pressuring him to meet their demands. But Likins was not interested in revising the current code, said Arne Ekstrom, head of the UA's branch of SAS.

"The protest is to demand full public disclosure," Ekstrom said. "Duke, Georgetown and Wisconsin have done this and more, and there is no reason we should be lagging behind."

Students from Duke, Georgetown, Brown and Wisconsin universities have successfully protested the international code - created by the Atlanta-based Collegiate Licensing Company.

Boston University's SAS protested in the snow on Thursday, but the BU president said he refused to negotiate because he felt that the student group's leaders have misrepresented him in the past.

Duke's SAS branch was the first to successfully persuade their administration after holding a 31-hour sit-in at the president's office.

Ekstrom declined comment on whether today's protest will head in a similar direction.

Likins acknowledged the possibility of a sit-in, adding that students have that right as long as it doesn't interfere with university proceedings.

He said he plans to attend the demonstration, but is waiting for an invitation from SAS before he addresses the group.

"My dialogue with students is very helpful, but a protest is not helpful," Likins added.

The protest will include representatives from Scholars, Artists, and Writers for Social Justice, Derechos Humanos, Central Labor Council, and local churches.