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Letter: Committee cares about HEI's labor practices

To the Editor:

As current chair of the Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies, a committee representing students, faculty, staff and alumni charged with advising the President and the Corporation on matters relating to the social impacts of the University's investments, I write to correct a misimpression given by the column by guest columnists Mark Morales '10 and Alex Campbell '10 ("The Truth about Brown's Investments," Nov. 5).  In the column, the authors state that ACCRIP "dismissed our claims as outside their purview."

Actually, the committee met with members of the Student Labor Alliance about labor practices at HEI Hotels and Resorts twice in the 2008-09 academic year, the second time also having a dismissed HEI worker address us.

After the second meeting, I communicated to the student who had served as contact for the SLA group that ACCRIP's members had discussed the matter and had recommended to President Ruth Simmons that the University should communicate with HEI that the labor practices alleged to have occurred "would be matters of real concern to the University were they to be substantiated." I stated that our committee "recommends ongoing engagement between the University and HEI over these matters." Let me add on a personal note that I commend Morales and Campbell for their concern regarding the workers, and that I write at this time solely to set the record straight on the role of ACCRIP in this matter.

Louis Putterman
Professor of Economics
Nov. 5




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