University of Minnesota should cut contract with Russell

The University of Minnesota needs to be the 12th school on the list of universities that have cut their contracts with Russell Athletics. The University, after having the opportunity to hear of numerous violations of their code first-hand from two former employees of RussellâÄôs Honduran factory, needs to hold the company responsible for its actions. The factory in Honduras, which closed due to union organizing, was in violation of obvious workersâÄô rights, such as unpaid overtime. When negotiations finally began with the newly organized union, their reasonable request for an increase in wages was denied in favor of something minuscule. If the University upholds relations with a company that will not respect these basic needs for the people who make our clothing, that standard remains within the clothing we wear and leads to students representing and propagating this chain of exploitation. This is something that students will not stand for. The University should present a positive model for handling cases when workersâÄô rights are violated. Other companies that work with the University, as well as other universities that may have contracts with Russell, have to see that contracts need to be upheld and that there will be consequences if they are not. If we do not cut our contract, the UniversityâÄôs standards will seem empty and easily bent in favor of lower values. Lowered principles are not something the University should strive for. Jessica Pederson University of Minnesota-Morris student