Behind the Screens

You don’t know what is happening behind the screens….

Labour rights violations continue unabated in much of the electronics industry. Low pay, forced overtime, discrimination against migrants, agency workers and women, lack of protection for workers using dangerous chemicals. All of these are the norm across electronics sweatshops. International electronics brands have failed to ensure their workers are guaranteed decent work.

Shine a light on this, take action on 28th February and 1st March to support electronics workers fighting for fair working conditions and get your University to join Electronics Watch!

Take Part in Behind the Screens

Sign up to find out more about Behind the Screens and how we can support you on your campus.

Behind the Screens - 48 Hours of Action

Due to the lack of transparency, universities on their own are unable to know what is really happening in their supply chains, behind the screens of the PCs they buy. This means that labour rights violations continue in much of the electronics industry without action taken to change this. Electronics Watch is an independent monitoring organisation for the electronics industry. Bringing together public sector purchasers – including universities, Electronics Watch enables them to find out the reality in the supply chain and stamp out workers’ rights abuses.

This year Electronics Watch and its members have helped over 120,000 workers improve their working conditions. Yet there are still millions working in unfair conditions including those producing products for our universities. Labour rights violations continue in much of the electronics industry. Low pay, forced overtime, discrimination against migrants, agency workers and women, lack of protection for workers using dangerous chemicals are the norm across electronics sweatshop. International electronics brands have failed to ensure their workers are guaranteed decent work.

With more universities affiliating to Electronics Watch we can double, even triple this and help hundreds of thousands of workers fighting for fair working conditions. Shine a light on this, take action to support electronics workers fighting for fair working conditions and get your University to join Electronics Watch!

Join us for Behind the Screens, as part of the Sweatshop Free Campaign, 28th February and 1st March - 48 hours of action for Workers' Rights in the Electronics Industry and demand your university to join Electronics Watch.

How to Get Involved

1. HELP US CAMPAIGN ON TWITTER

  • Tweet your solidarity with sweatshop workers with photos of your face behind the screens (your laptop, phone or tablet) on the hashtag #behindthescreens and #makeICTFair
  • Tweet at your University with ‘ You don’t know what is happening #behindthescreens, #MakeICTFair and join Electronics Watch ?’ with your photos and petitions.
  • From February 26th, the giant corporations that produce our electronics are coming together for a conference in Barcelona. Let the attendees know that students in the UK and Ireland won’t stand for worker rights abuses in the production of our electronics by tweeting on #MWC2018 with #behindthescreens photos and #MakeICTFair


2. PUT PRESSURE ON YOUR UNIVERSITY TO AFFILIATE TO ELECTRONICS WATCH

Hold a street event to raise awareness of the issues in global electronics supply chains:

  • Plan a location with lots of passing trade such as outside the library or the SU building. Get volunteers signed up to run the event; use an online rota like doodle.com and brief all volunteers on the day.
  • Promote your event in advance on social media, ask your SU to promote, put up posters.
  • Prepare your event: with any materials or props you need
  • Follow up: make sure you contact any new campaign supporters about how they can get involved in your group and any other events and actions you’re organising
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Launch a petition calling for your university to affiliate to Electronics Watch

Petitions are a great way of not only increasing awareness of your campaign objectives, but demonstrating how much support you’ve built.

If you already have a petition going at your University, why not use your street event or creative action as a chance to get more signatures to really show how much support your campaign has.

 

Street Event ideas

  • Create a life-size screen and show what happens behind the screen with pictures, quotes, sweatshop re-enactment acting, videos…
  • Create a Supply Chain maze on the floor. Allow students to find their way to the centre of the maze to see what is happening in the supply chain in the electronics factories
  • Do a 48 hour stunt – 48 hours of a repetitive factory work task (cleaning screens, gluing objects together) or activity (rowing or cycling) to show how long and hard working hours really are. - This could also be done as a fundraiser!

 

3. ORGANISE A CREATIVE ACTION TO LET YOUR UNIVERSITY YOU ARE NOT GOING AWAY

  • Screen Brandalism – black out TV screens across campus, a whole PC room, all the PCs in the library with a note or link to why you are doing this
  • Create a life-size screen to block a door to the procurement office – they don’t know what is happening behind the screens in their electronic supply chains
  • Banner drop - Drop a banner from a visible spot on campus to shine a light on what is happening behind the screens in the electronics supply chain. Try and find somewhere interesting or creative to drop it from, get great photos, send them everywhere.

 

HINTS AND TIPS - PREPARATION & PROMOTION:

  • Reach out to other societies. Coalition building is integral to a strong movement, and this is a great opportunity to start building these bridges. Get in touch with Unison members on campus (Unison is the newest member of Electronics Watch), anti-racist groups, feminist groups and other social justice societies to see if they would like to co-host it or come along to your event or action.
  • Spread the word. Make sure you advertise your events at least a week before on social media, through the student’s union and any other channels you can think of. Create Facebook events, put up posters and get in touch with other societies asking them to advertise the week to their email lists. Make sure you remain active on social media throughout the week as well.
  • Tell the press. Identify press contacts in local and student media, and get in touch with them at least a week before a day of action with a press release. Think about radio, television and online sources as well as newspapers. Get in touch with People & Planet and we can help with this!


If you have any other questions or want to get in contact, email sweatshopfree@peopleandplanet.org or call on 01865 403225