2017 October 24

Electronics Watch Welcomes its First Trade Union Affiliate UNISON

Public service union UNISON has become the first trade union to affiliate to Electronics Watch, and the first trade union in the UK to ensure the electronics they purchase are independently monitored for workers' rights violations. UNISON is one of the UK's largest trade unions, serving more than 1.3 million members. As the first affiliate outside the public sector, UNISON is participating in a pilot scheme to evaluate what Electronics Watch can offer not-for-profit civil society organisations and trade unions that buy significant amounts of ICT hardware products.

Gill Blaik, of UNISON said:

"We are very pleased to be the first trade union to affiliate to Electronics Watch. UNISON works to defend trade union and human rights globally and affiliating to Electronics Watch is a natural step as part of this and also our procurement policy. IT supply chains are complex and we know there is much work needed to improve the working conditions of those employed in the electronics industry. We want our suppliers to ensure their workers have decent working conditions and are free from labour and human rights abuses. We also know the impact that using collective powers can make so we look forward to seeing positive changes in the industry. We hope that more public sector bodies see the benefit of working together in this way to make improvements for workers."

Bjorn Claeson of Electronics Watch said:

"We welcome UNISON to Electronics Watch and look forward to working with the union to help them use their procurement leverage to protect electronics workers in global supply chains. UNISON's affiliation represents an important statement of worker solidarity by public sector employees, UNISON's members."

Electronics Watch now works with 83 affiliates – either directly, or through their purchasing consortia – from the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden Spain, the Netherlands and the USA.