GREAT NEWS: TfL announced on Christmas Eve 2015 that it's joining Electronics Watch. Philip Hewson Head of Commercial Information Communications Technology at TfL said in the company's announcement: "By signing up to Electronics Watch, we are making a statement to the industry that their products must be manufactured ethically and we want our suppliers to make sure that people working with the industry have improved working conditions that as a minimum are safe and respect their human rights."
Transport for London (TfL) spends a whopping £750m per year on electronics, making it one of Britain's largest single IT equipment buyers. Corporations trip over themselves to get onto TfL's shopping list -- and therein lies an opportunity to make a real difference for workers rights!
Journalists and NGOs have exposed harrowing cases of child labour, repression, illnesses and even deaths at leading brands like Samsung in Korea, and major HP and Dell suppliers in China. And those are only consumer brands who are in the public spotlight. Just imagine what other electronics corporations will do to maximize their financial returns.
Enter Electronics Watch. TfL is about to vote whether to join other public bodies in an initiative called Electronics Watch that uses clauses in public contracts to require better standards from suppliers, and funds essential monitoring to make sure promises are really kept. The decision is next week, meaning we have only hours left to make our voices heard and spread the word:
Can you ask TfL to join the Electronics Watch initiative to use its buying power for good?
Electronics Watch is an organisation that works with local labour groups to investigate worker abuses in factories supplying the public sector with electronics. The intelligence they gather is given to public sector bodies that can use their huge electronics contracts to require that companies improve the conditions of workers.
TfL buys lots of stuff, but rarely hears from ordinary people about its procurement policy. When it has though -- on environmental concerns and on the living wage for UK based contractors -- the public body has done the right thing. Let's raise our voices now so TfL knows that we care: Sign the petition to TfL to use its buying power to combat rights abuses in the electronics industry.
SumOfUs members have joined many campaigns alongside unions calling on electronics giants to respect workers rights around the world. We've found that a mix of direct and indirect pressure works best. Last year, more than 150,000 of us pressured Apple to pressure its iPhone technology supplier NXP to reinstate workers who were fired for union organising. With large public bodies like Transport for London on our side, we can do so much more!