Sweatshop Free Template Motion for Students' Unions

Note: Different Students' Unions will have different ways of structuring their motions. Check with somebody in your own Union to make sure this is the right format. Call us on 01865 403 225 to discuss an alternative.

Proposer:

Seconder:

This Union Notes:

  1. That the global electronics industry is a high-risk industry for modern slavery.

  2. That the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015) seeks to address slavery, forced labour and human trafficking taking place today. On 29 October 2015, the transparency in supply chains provisions of the Act (section 54) came into force. The provisions require commercial and public interest organisations, including universities, to publish a statement setting out steps the organisation has taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains and in any part of its own business, often referred to as an “anti-slavery statement”.

  3. That, according to the International Labour Organization around 25 million men, women and children around the world are in a form of forced labour. Globally, there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people, and 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.i

  4. That the electronics industry is a high-risk industry for modern slavery. Sadly, these conditions are common in the electronics and technology, mining and minerals and shipping industries.

  5. That Electronics Watch (EW) is a European-wide labour rights monitoring organization, conducting investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe. Their primary focus is the labour practices of factories that make electronics goods.ii

  6. That, since its formation in 2013, 52 UK Universities have affiliated to Electronics Watch, including every publicly-funded University in Scotland.

  7. This means that all electronics suppliers to those University affiliates are now monitored for labour rights practices in their supply chains.

  8. That, while this is a great step forward, our University is also a major purchaser of electronics.

This Union Believes:

  1. That our University should also monitor its supply chains.

  2. The affiliation of universities to EW has enabled workers to have a number of major successes in defending their rights.

  3. That EW is the only monitoring organisation that is credible with workers and their organisations, and is explicitly dedicated to monitoring university and public authority supply chains.

  4. That more universities affiliating will lead to a greater collective weight of purchasers in dealing with labour rights abuses in the electronics sector.

  5. That the University should affiliate to EW.

This Union Resolves:

  1. To mandate [the President] to lobby the University to affiliate to EW.

  2. To mandate [the President] to request student representation on all of the University's purchasing committees.

  3. To mandate student representatives who sit on purchasing committees to push affiliation to EW.

  4. To mandate all student representatives who sit on the purchasing committees to push for more ethical and more sustainable electronics from University procurement managers.

iReference: International Labour Organisation, Forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking, http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang--en/index.htm

iiReference: Electronics Watch, http://electronicswatch.org/en

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Sweatshop Free is part of a movement of people across the world, who are coming together to win workers’ rights for sweatshop labourers. Our campaign brings together students and workers in a coalition capable of challenging the root causes of unacceptable working conditions.