Getting your University signed up to the Workers’ Rights Consortium is a issue that can unite students across campus, from all backgrounds and all groups, as Deborah Bazeley a second year Political Science student, women’s rights activist and women’s association member said at the protest “I have never seen such a diverse range of people come together on one issue in a fight against discrimination”, The Workers’ Rights Consortium is not just about ending sweatshops and child labour it protects against all forms of discrimination against workers; gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin and encourages and protects via solidarity, liberation movements.
For example the workers’ rights consortium recently successfully intervened on behalf of 5 women from Bangladesh ,who formed the countries first women led trade union, when they were fired for doing so.
In the weeks preceding the action people and planet members toured around all groups on campus building up momentum, there is no substitute for getting out there and talking, FB events only do so much!
Letters to Vice chancellor where written by all the liberation groups; the women’s association, disabled students association, LGBTQ association, Black and ethnic minorities association, letters were written by human rights groups like the UNA, by religious groups like the Jewish society and Islamic society and by sports groups who are the major consumers of garments on campus.
Tamour Khan who is doing engineering masters at the University of Birmingham and a committee member of Birmingham university Islamic society said “that students are increasingly focusing their efforts in campaigning for a just human rights solution to some of the most destitute and depressing circumstances”.
Getting about, talking to groups, winning them over, letting them win over their membership and then getting them to actively deal with the issue by getting them to write a letter to the university really engages them and their membership. Which transfers to base of support on campus that can is worth 1000 people on a facebook group, it’s an odd thing to have heard students you have never met talking about the protest and getting their friends to support the workers’ rights consortium, but after all “the strength of a movement is its long tail“.
On Tuesday the 2nd of march representatives from 10 student groups went and delivered letters, as a delegation to the vice chancellor (pictures hopefully up soon), on Wednesday march 3rd a diverse group of students railed naked on campus in support of the Workers’ Rights Consortium, in the evening on march 3rd the guilds president in a meeting with the vice chancellor expressed the students unions support and urged him to sign the university up and delivered him pictures of the naked action.
Already more action is planed; to keep up momentum for campaign, women’s rights activists on campus are preparing a petition of T-shirts to hand him on international women’s day and, after all women make up 90% of sweatshop labour, other groups have more in the pipeline.
keep checkin back, I’m collecting e- copies of the letters written by the student groups to post up on buy right resource page, try and get your groups to write similar letters.
Meanwhile check out the photos of the naked army, who braved the wintery march cold for workers rights.
check out the guys on the right, behind our massive “naked” petition which was signed by students from all the different groups taking part.