By Jess Warren
On Tuesday, October 30, students from Cardiff University demonstrated outside of Cardiff’s Samsung Experience Store in a protest coordinated by the campaign group People & Planet .
This comes in response to Samsung being accused of operating a ‘no-union’ policy which prevents workers in its factories from forming, joining or organising within trade unions. According to the ITUC, Samsung has engaged in union-busting through sacking union members, threatening migrant workers with deportation and locking union members out of factories.
In a statement, Cardiff People & Planet said: “This action is protesting Samsung’s unsatisfactory workers rights – in particular their efforts to prevent their workers from unionising. Led by Cardiff People and Planet, the action took place in connection with the Sweatshop Free campaign, which is lobbying Cardiff University to affiliate to Electronics Watch. Electronics Watch produces actionable intelligence on the working conditions within electronics factories; this would dramatically improve Cardiff University’s accountability as an essential component of ethical procurement.”
Students are calling on Samsung, as well as other major electronics brands, to guarantee freedom of association in their supply chains. This would see brands committing to upholding the right of workers to joining trade unions. Its purpose is also to put pressure on their suppliers to ensure this is implemented.