Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GSC Members Protest Labor Rights Abuses

About 20 members of the Georgetown Solidarity Committee protested alleged labor rights abuses by Georgetown licensee Adidas in front of University President John J. DeGioia’s office Wednesday afternoon.

According to GSC member and demonstration organizer Samuel Geaney-Moore (SFS ’12), Adidas failed to pay workers of an apparel factory in Tangerang, Indonesia that closed in March the $1.8 million they are owed in severance pay. Georgetown’s Code of Conduct for Licensees states that the university’s licensees must provide terminal compensation for all of its contractors. According to Geaney-Moore, Adidas is therefore in violation of the university’s code.

The protesters presented a letter addressed to DeGioia and met with Joseph Ferrara, his chief of staff, in the Philodemic Room.

“It was a very cordial, respectful meeting,” Ferrara said. “I know they’re serious, and I respected that.”

According to Ferrara, the concerns of the student protesters have been shared with DeGioia, who was in a meeting at the time of the demonstration, as well as Vice President for Federal Relations Scott Fleming and university spokeswoman Stacy Kerr.

The issue of labor rights in Indonesia was raised at Tuesday’s meeting of the university’s Licensing Oversight Committee, which is currently chaired by Fleming and has several student members. The committee spoke with a representative of Adidas Tuesday and is investigating whether the company is violating the university’s code of conduct.

“We are in the midst of those conversations,” Fleming said.

He noted that terminating Georgetown’s contract with Adidas is ultimately a legal decision. He is attempting to arrange a meeting with the university’s counsel by next week.

According to Geaney-Moore, the university has known about the issue for several months. GSC members chose to protest today after a week of planning in hopes of having the problem addressed by the end of the semester.

“For months, we’ve been talking about this at the university through the more quiet channels,” Geaney-Moore said.

Ferrara said that the Office of the President welcomes all student concerns and plans to have the appropriate members of the administration investigate the claims made by the GSC by next week.

“The door’s always open, and I was happy to meet with them,” Ferrara said.

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