Bath University to Join The Workers Rights Consortium sign now

We ask that Professor Glynis Breakwell, through her position as Vice-Chancellor, help to push Bath University to pass the Buy Right Policy by:

1.Confirming in a Buy Rightpolicy statement that the University of Bath is committed to an appropriately ethical stance on the goods and services which it purchases. Further that the University will actively use best endeavours to ensure the promotion of human rights, sustainable development, and Fairtrade throughout the Universitys supply chains.

2.Setting up a formal steering group to monitor progress

3.Joining / participating in the Worker Rights Consortium in the UK (at a cost of 1000 a year)

THE PROBLEM:
Under the current system manufacturers of garments for Bath University are obliged to stick to regulations over workers rights, but we have no way of assessing whether they do this. For years companies have been claiming stringent standards and regular inspections, but these inspections are often mere formalities and the truth is we have no way of knowing if workers are being forced to work long hours for little pay in appalling conditions.

THE WORKERS RIGHTS CONSORTIUM:
The workers rights consortium has been running for nearly a decade and currently has 174 Universities affiliated in the USA. Recently Birmingham students union has affiliated and People and Planet are running campaigns countrywide to get universities to sign up. When affiliated the WRC will work with our procurement team to monitor and if necessary properly investigate the factories which make garments for Bath. This will assure a fundamental baseline of ethics for all garments sold on campus, which can then extend in time to include electronics, furniture etc.

THE WORKERS RIGHTS CONSORTIUM IN ACTION:
In 2008 Russell Athletic (Fruits of the Loom) closed a factory in Honduras after the workers established a union to stand up for their rights. Reports from the Workers Rights Consortium led to the largest garment boycott in history. In November 2009 Russell Athletic reopened the factory, re-employing the 1200 workers, paying them for 10 months of back pay, establishing the first company recognised union in the Honduras garment industry, paving the way for more in other Russell Athletic factories. This is just one example of the success of this model.

THE FULL OPEN LETTER TO V-C GLYNIS BREAKWELL WHICH WILL BE SENT CAN BE FOUND AT:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0Bxtlk6RzXVyYNjBiOGJkZmYtMDAyNC00ZjQ1LWIyMGMtMWE3ZmM2ODQzM2Q1&hl=en

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Lea HillBy:
Transport and infrastructureIn:
Petition target:
Vice-Chancellor Glynis Breakwell

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