All University of Wisconsin licensees working out of Bangladesh will be required to sign onto new workplace safety standards after months of outcry from members of the campus community.
Any licensees that source, produce or purchase goods in the country will need to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a set of standards for worker safety, by July 30, 2014.
Ensuring workers are paid their salary, repairs are made to correct safety issues and funds are available to make repairs are all parts of the Accord, a statement from the university said.
The campus Labor Codes Licensing Compliance Committee was tasked with investigating options to ensure safe working conditions after 1,134 workers died in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh last year.
No UW goods were produced at that factory, but the collapse brought labor standards for factories licensed to produce apparel emblazoned with the Motion W and Bucky Badger under the microscope.
Members of the Student Labor Action Coalition, a labor rights activist group on campus, held numerous protests on campus to draw attention to the issue, including most recently delivering a cardboard clock to Chancellor Rebecca Blank to emphasize the March 24 deadline to take action was approaching.
Sales of university products net $3.3 million for the university annually, which ranks in the top 20 universities for apparel revenue.
[Image via Flickr user Richard Hurd]