Sexton accepts recommendation, SLAM continues caroling for actionPosted on December 9, 2013 | by Larson Binzer
Members of the Student and Labor Action Movement sang carols on the 12th floor of Bobst Library as part of their campaign to improve working conditions in Bangladeshi factories that make NYU apparel.
The protesters, who gathered in Bobst at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 6, sang songs with lyrics that urged NYU President John Sexton to have all factories making NYU apparel to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which would require them to meet certain safety standards.
SLAM members sang about the rights Bangladeshi factories should give their workers to the tunes of Christmas carols. Songs included “Workers’ Rights Rock,” “Workers Rights are Coming to Town” and “The 12 Days of Workers’ Rights.”
On Thursday, Sexton approved the recommendation also approved by the University Senate, but did not formally tell SLAM that before they caroled on Friday afternoon.
NYU spokesman Philip Lentz said the university will implement the senate’s recommendation soon, but a specific timeline has not been announced.
Until the university provides more precise details and more actions are taken, SLAM is not completely satisfied.
“Passing a resolution in the senate is not the end goal of our campaign,” SLAM member and Steinhardt junior Victor Li said. “We still have to see that a timely deadline is set for our licensees to sign the [Accord on Fire and Building Safety], when that deadline will be, that our licensees actually sign within that deadline and that those licensees failing to sign within the deadline have their licenses revoked.”
SLAM has made several effort this semester to urge the university to sign the agreement, including delivering a letter to Sexton and meeting with vice president for Global Student Affairs Marc Wais in September.
SLAM member and Gallatin senior Caitlin MacLaren said she is optimistic the university will respond to the group’s requests.
“This is the last thing we’re going to do [this semester] probably, because we really think [John Sexton] will take action soon hopefully,” MacLaren said. “Then it will be a matter of just seeing whether or not the licensees sign the accord or whether NYU will have to cut contracts with any of them.”
SLAM plans to continue protesting next semester until the licensees sign the accord and alter their regulations.
“This was just one of the multiple actions that we have planned and will continue to plan until we eventually get the code of conduct changed to make sure that the accord is signed,” Li said.
Larson Binzer is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.