U of M cuts ties to Russell Athletic over workers rightsby Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The University of Minnesota has decided to cut its contract with Russell Athletic after allegations of unfair labor practices by the clothing maker.
The U of M will end its relationship with Russell Athletic on March 31. The Atlanta-based clothing manufacturer makes T-shirts and other clothing with the U of M logo.
The move comes after Russell closed a manufacturing plant based in Honduras, putting nearly 2,000 workers out of a job. The company cited the slow economy as the reason for the closing. Workers' rights groups claimed it was because of a unionizing effort.
University officials say Russell didn't live up to legal standards the U expects of companies that make products with the school's logo.
According to the U of M, the licensing relationship with Russell resulted in more than $26,000 in revenue to the university in 2007.
The University of Minnesota is the 13th U.S. college to cut ties with Russell Athletic in recent weeks. Others include the University of Wisconsin, Purdue, Georgetown, Rutgers, the University of Houston and the University of Miami.