We’re working with activists on the ground in India to end forced labour and modern day slavery on the brick kilns. Our Blood Bricks campaign highlights the conditions workers are kept under, and aims to tackle this appalling practice. Activists in Ind …

Blood Bricks logo website

We’re working with activists on the ground in India to end forced labour and modern day slavery on the brick kilns. Our Blood Bricks campaign highlights the conditions workers are kept under, and aims to tackle this appalling practice.

Activists in India have been busy: organising bonded labourers into unions, registering unions with the certification officer, bargaining with employers and winning significant wage rises. They have also freed workers from bonded labour, and filed criminal charges against companies using illegal slave labour.

A family released from bonded labour in the brick kilns by our comrades on the ground in India

A family released from bonded labour in the brick kilns by our comrades on the ground in India

But slave labour is an integral part of the supply chains of global capital, and it isn’t enough to tackle it in India alone: we need to go after the companies that profit from it.

The UK has created a requirement in a new law, the Modern Slavery Bill, that will require companies to declare each year what measures they have taken to keep their supply chains slavery free. The Bill is currently going through Parliament and is expected to become law next year. This is significant because it places the burden of research and proof on the company: campaigners often don’t have the resources to research supply chains effectively.

We are also working with Thompsons Scotland who have supported our campaign to apply the law by using the Companies Act (2006) amendment to compel employers to incorporate human rights breaches in their annual reports and for the law to apply to all companies, not just publicly registered ones.

We are reinforcing the campaign with Early Day Motion 362.

Please ask your MP to sign it.



writetothem.com

The Early Day Motion, sponsored by Jim Sheridan MP, states:

That this House notes with concern the conditions of brick labourers in India; emphasises the fact that many of these labourers see abuses of minimum wage rates and health and safety regulations; further notes that many work up to 16 hours a day; further notes that children as young as four years old are also working in these conditions; further notes that such labour is often bonded labour and that a recent BBC report brought to light examples of workers having their hands cut off when trying to escape; welcomes the work by Union Solidarity International in highlighting these abuses through its Blood Bricks campaign; highlights the 2011 UN and OECD guidelines specifying that multinational companies should have direct responsibility for human rights abuses anywhere in their supply chains; is concerned that these guidelines are not being enforced; stresses that any and every industry using new buildings in India should be under scrutiny; and calls on the Government to bring forward legislation to enforce these guidelines in UK law and to raise these issues in international negotiations.

Labourers released from bonded labour, with release certificates issued by local authority, including back wages paid as per the labour laws. Criminal cases were filed against employer the multi-national giant Jaypee group.

Labourers released from bonded labour, with release certificates issued by the local authority. Back wages were paid as per the labour laws. Criminal cases were filed against the employer,

 


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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