Phone ‘bomb’ – February 25 delivery

Tell UH to support Student Demands and Adopt the DSP!

Please tell Chancellor Renu Khator take action and let her know that UH clothing can’t be made in sweatshops! Since February 2007, students at University of Houston have been asking their administration to adopt the Designated Suppliers Program (DSP). The DSP would require the brands producing UH apparel to source from factories in which workers have the freedom to organize and earn enough to support a family. In addition, it will require these brands to pay enough for their goods to make this possible. The DSP has been adopted by 40 major universities in the U.S. Despite this fact and that UH students having exhausted every diplomatic and legislative avenue Chancellor Khator has refused to take action to adopt the proposal. Meanwhile UH apparel is still made in sweatshops. Please email, call and fax on Monday February 25 to demand that UH listen to students and become the 41st university to adopt the DSP!

1. Take Action
It can be done once in 2 minutes or you can sit down with a group of friends and swarm the communication lines. Some people will just be sending one email, one fax and making one phone call every hour on the hour. The Chancellor’s office is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Monday February 25.

**Phone In!
Renu Khator’s phone: (713) 743-8820
(sample script)
Hello, my name is _______ and I am a _____ from _____. It is very disappointing to hear that an institution like UH, which claims to be a leader in the university community, has shown so little concern for its students and for the workers producing its apparel. It is extremely unfortunate that you are ignoring this issue despite students having proven the viability of the DSP and assured UH that it would face no legal or financial risk from it. I would urge you to address this situation by meeting with the students immediately and adopting the DSP. Thanks for your time.

**Fax In/ Email!
Renu Khator’s fax: 713.743.8837
Renu Khator’s email:
(sample letter)

Chancellor Khator,
To date, 40 major universities have agreed, through their adoption of the Designated Suppliers Program (DSP), to take proactive steps towards ensuring that university licensed apparel is produced, not in sweatshops, but in factories in which the rights of workers are respected.

Judging by your lack of action, UH does not share the same commitment to workers’ rights that has been so clearly exhibited by the 40 other universities that have committed to moving forward with such a project. Forty other schools have proven that signing on to the DSP is a viable action to take and I am outraged that UH has done nothing to address this.

I find this lack of action be completely unacceptable, and demand that you commit to the adoption and timely implementation of the DSP. You have the opportunity to make UH a proactive and valued university, and I expect this school to make real its commitment and not allow such an opportunity to pass by.


2. Send It to Your Friends!

Please invite everyone you know, the more people we have phoning, faxing and especially calling Chancellor Peacock, the better. We are focusing literally thousands of people internationally UH and this will hopefully be a historic event. Every little bit counts!


4 responses to “Phone ‘bomb’ – February 25 delivery

  1. I prefer to believe protesting university students’ have their hearts in the right place to break the cycle of sweatshop labor and university business practices. They are right in that no matter how far those sweatshops may be from Houston, America’s universities and students can become unwitting participants in the cycle. I wish you well, but I believe your “phone bomb'” February 25 delivery will likely fall short. Students, after, “asking their administration” and “having exhausted every diplomatic and legislative avenue” you now hand a script to students to “please tell Chancellor Khator” and “demand that UH listen to students”. What the UH protests (and, organizations such as, United students Against Sweatshops) reveal is the resourcefulness and willingness of Nike and other business, whether for economic or human interest, to change their practices is not shared by Chancellor Khator.

    Unless my information is outdated I find it peculiar none of the many universities in Texas were represented in the student delegation which conducted its investigation of New Era Cap in Alabama last month. This is even more bizarre given that Texas is number one! It’s number one among apparel states for the highest number of displaced apparel workers.

    Here’s my recommended course of action. The Chancellor insists on doing business with known sweatshops. Fine. Lets see UH Chancellor Khator demonstrate her support for the citizens of Houston. A local (at-home) Independent Enterprise Network membership with its wealth of Knowledge, Skills and Experience in apparel production is every bit as capable as an overseas (or domestic) sweatshop to produce every apparel item purchased by students and public in support of UH. IE-Network members can partner as easily with the UH campus store as any independent apparel retailer. These network members are the same parents who continue to struggle to put their children through elementary, high school and university since the outsourcing of apparel manufacturing more than 200 thousand jobs ago.

    IE-Networks are not a government program or pittance for the poor. Nobody dictates to them whom they sell to or buy from nor for how much. They are independent. They are as capable of producing apparel for the campus store as neighborhood retailers as well as athletic uniforms for school districts.

    This course of action is not about the University of Houston or its students. It’s about the people of Houston who live there and support the Chancellor, students and the university. Now, it’s the university’s turn to support the people.

  2. I think it’s a little early to conclude that Khator won’t change her practices. She’s only had the job for 6 weeks and we have just begun to bring public pressure on her.

    As for no one from Texas going to the New Era plant, I think that’s more of a reflection of the fact that our school is, as far as I know, the only one running a campaign against sweatshops in the state of Texas. None of our members could make the trip. It was after all limited to 20 students.

    Thanks for the other information, perhaps you could forward the IE-Network info directly to Khator? And don’t forget to join in on our phone bomb. Thanks!

  3. I appreciate your reply with further clarification, Tim. I have gone ahead and forwarded a couple of links on IE-Networks to Ms Khator. Unfortunately, there’s a tech glitch that I continue to work on some of the links in my blog. I will join in on the phone bomb, but I will make it clear I am not a student. My interest, as I told Ms Khator, is nothing other than business. I am not involved with nor do I have any affliation with any organization. I have no need or desire to visit the UH campus save through blog comments and private emails with anyone who chooses to do so.

  4. You don’t need to be associated w/ UH to voice an opinion. As a resident of Texas your taxes are being used at UH. We have USAS folks and labor allies from across the country participating in the phone bomb. Speaking up for justice is the right of all humans.

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