Virginia Tech students call for dismissal of contract with Nike

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) -  Virginia Tech students called on the university to consider cutting ties with Nike.

Thursday, the group United Students Against Sweatshops delivered what it said was its third letter of the year to President Timothy Sands.

In that letter, the USAS said Nike is refusing to let the Workers Rights Consortium into its factories to ensure fair and ethical conditions for workers.

Wednesday night, a former Nike factory worker spoke to dozens of students about her experiences. She claimed Nike locked workers inside a factory when they tried to form a union.

The student group said the Virginia tech athletic department's contract with Nike requires the company to allow the WRC in to inspect factories.

Also under that contract, Nike pays Virginia Tech $1 million in equipment and apparel and $275,000 in cash.

USAS leader Anu Sharna said, "They're in direct violation of our code of conduct. So basically what we would ask for is that Virginia Tech gives Nike 90 days to comply with our code of conduct, which is legally binding. If they don't comply, then we can't do business with an irresponsible company like that anymore."

President Sands was not available to personally receive the letter Thursday, but he did say in an email Wednesday that he is asking university relations to look into the matter.