Companies worry about NGO campaigns that name and shame them for poor working conditions in their supply chains. It affects their reputation with customers, competitors and investors. But how much do they worry about campaigns that expose them for violating workers’ basic rights to be organised and represented through trade unions? Are campaigns the only way to get companies and governments to the negotiating table taking these issues seriously?
Our experts for this session have been campaigning for many years on labour rights. They’ll talk about why labour rights campaigns succeed or fail. Come ready for a challenging debate and discussion over breakfast.
Shane Enright, Community Organiser (Unions and Workplaces) and Global Trade Union Adviser, Amnesty International UK Section
Amnesty International’s campaigning for trade union rights started 30 years ago. They have three million supporters worldwide and members in more than 150 countries. Shane will talk about how Amnesty International’s efforts for workers’ rights have made a difference.
Diana Holland, Assistant General Secretary for Transport, Equalities & Food, Unite the Union
Unite is the largest trade union in the UK and Ireland with 1.4 million members covering 20 sectors across transport and food, manufacturing and services. Diana will talk about Unite’s campaigns in the UK, drawing lessons from what they’ve achieved and learnt, and will set out some challenges facing workers’ rights campaigning in the UK and globally. She will also highlight some of the specific challenges for women workers in labour rights campaigns.
Eric Lee, founder of LabourStart
LabourStart is an online global platform for news and campaigning on labour rights, set up 18 years ago. Its large network of volunteers around the world post labour news stories every day in their own languages. When trade union rights are under attack, they work with global union federations to launch international solidarity campaigns that get the support of hundreds of thousands of workers, with notable success. Eric will talk about successes and challenges of some campaigns targeting governments and corporations.