On Oct. 16, Cornell President David J. Skorton sent a letter to Eric Wiseman, CEO of VF Corp., severing the university’s business relationship with JanSport, the collegiate apparel manufacturer licensed by Cornell and owned by VF Corp. In May 2014, Skorton asked VF to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh by Sept. 30 or face Cornell’s termination of JanSport’s license.
Citing deep concern over the ongoing issues surrounding worker and factory safety in Bangladesh, Skorton wrote:
“The sheer size of VF’s presence and influence in Bangladesh behooves the company to support all initiatives designed to improve worker and factory safety in that country.
“Although VF and JanSport are separate business entities, VF’s practices regarding labor compliance and practices govern all production globally and are applied to all VF subsidiaries.”
Skorton noted his hope that VF will take a leadership position on this issue of global importance and indicated that Cornell would be happy to re-establish its business relationship with JanSport should VF decide to sign the Accord in the future.