Yale Rally Caps off Week of Sweatshop Protests

Following a week of anti-sweatshop activism across the country, about 200 Yale University students rallied to protest the administration's policy on sweatshop labor monitoring. More than 15 have vowed to continue an ongoing public "sleep-in."

Students gathered yesterday afternoon on Yale's Beinecke Plaza to urge the administration to withdraw from the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and join the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC).

While both organizations are designed to monitor sweatshops, FLA supporters say the WRC is too loosely organized and too narrowly focused to enact change. WRC supporters say the FLA is too closely tied to corporate interests to be objective.


The demands of the anti-sweatshop campaign of Harvard's Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM) parallel those of the Yale students involved in yesterday's demonstration.

But University Attorney Allan A. Ryan Jr., the administrator responsible for sweatshop policy, said protests and policy changes at other schools will not affect Harvard's policies.

"It's not really influencing our decision," he said.

Poor weather resulted in a smaller turnout than expected, with only half as many students attending yesterday's rally as attended a rally last month.

Demonstrators at yesterday's rally heard testimony from workers and students, shook noisemakers and chanted in front of Yale's main administrative building, Woodbridge Hall.

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