Duke to monitor apparel factory conditions

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University will cut the number of factories that manufacture the school's licensed apparel to better
monitor working conditions in the plants.

The decision, announced by university officials Monday, came
after a request last fall by sweatshop opponents, Duke executive
vice president Tallman Trask III said.

The school will "require that 25 percent of Duke production be
moved to a smaller number of designated factories that meet all of
our requirements, and which can be more closely monitored," Trask
said in a news release.

Factories making licensed Duke logo gear are already required to
pay a living wage, allow workers to form a group representing their
interests to managers, and sell the majority of their products to
university licensees or other buyers willing to meet the same

Licensees are required to pay the factories prices high enough
to make it possible to meet the standards and allow the Worker
Rights Consortium to verify conditions inside the plants.

Duke's licensing director Jim Wilkerson is chairman of the board
of the WRC, a nonprofit organization that keeps affiliated colleges
informed about conditions in the factories that produce products
bearing their names and logos. Duke has required factory disclosure
since 1999.