University of Aberdeen says no to sweatshop electronics

27 April 2015

The University of Aberdeen is to push for better conditions for workers in its electronics supply chain.

The university has become an affiliate to Electronics Watch, an independent worker rights monitoring organisation, and will work to improve conditions in the supply chains of the brands it has contracts with, and gain independent worker-led monitoring of the factories they use.

One of the biggest costs for universities is IT, and many of the computers, laptops, tablets and phones used by students and staff are manufactured in China, Vietnam and Thailand, where there are serious and sustained abuses of labour rights, according to People & Planet, a UK student campaign group.

Gary McKinnon, head of procurement at the University of Aberdeen, said: “This partnership will provide the university with enhanced monitoring of our suppliers, helping us to achieve our objective of dealing with companies that treat their employees fairly, pay a reasonable wage and provide acceptable working conditions.”

Electronics Watch is an independent monitoring organisation working to achieve respect for labour rights in the global electronics industry through socially responsible public purchasing in Europe.

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