Pathways to Peace with Yang Sophorn
KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 28, 2017) — Yang Sophorn is a well-known union activist and president of Cambodian Alliance of Trade Union. On Thursday, March 28th, Ms. Yang delivered the annual Pathways to Peace lecture to an audience of KSU students, faculty, and staff. As a guest of United Students Against Sweatshops, the largest student movement fighting for global workers’ rights, Ms. Yang has been touring the United States this spring to speak to various types of audiences about workers’ rights and the need for collective organizing at this critical moment in global economic politics. She explained the terrible conditions and low wages of workers in Cambodian factories and the economic burden it places on Cambodian women.
A spokeswoman for the United Students Against Sweatshops introduced Ms. Yang and gave a short lecture on the importance of student organizing, calling attention to the multi-million dollar contracts that universities have with large textile manufacturers, such as Nike and Adidas, to create their sports equipment, jerseys, and bookstore merchandise. Change comes from students demanding their universities withdraw contracts from companies with gross labor violations, and the powerful efforts of workers organizing on the ground. Yang closed her lecture by reminding consumers that they have bargaining power, too, and to act when given the opportunity.