Support Workers // Welcome Refugees
Christopher Roche and Kim Luetchford are running the 2016 Bath Half Marathon for Labour Behind the Label & Bath Welcomes Refugees. All funds raised will be divided equally between them. "Them" being the two organizations, not Chris and Kim, who will only be getting blisters. Read on to understand all.
Workers around the world are organising and fighting to liberate themselves from oppression and exploitation, inside and outside the workplace. We are strongest and most able to improve our conditions when we stand and fight together. That's why, instead of being complicit in the exploitation of workers in sweatshops overseas, and then rejecting people when they need a place of refuge in the UK, we want to support all workers in their struggles, and welcome all people to our local community.
Labour Behind the Label are a Bristol-based charity and campaign group that focuses exclusively on labour rights in the global garment industry. They believe that no-one should live in poverty for the price of cheap clothing and that a living wage, and working without fear for your life, are basic human rights. Labour Behind the Label research and lobby in support of workers' demands for improved pay and conditions. They do this by promoting collective action from consumers, pressuring companies to take responsbility for workers' rights, lobbying governments to legislate for safe working conditions and working with trade unions worldwide. The focus of their work comes from garment workers themselves, and they provide a platform to amplify their voices and demands and to promote international solidarity. Tell Me More!
Bath Welcomes Refugees (BWR) are a local grassroots community group that supports refugees settled in the local area and campaigns for the British state to do more to help people seeking refuge in the UK. They prepare welcome packs, including toiletries, foodstuffs, cleaning materials, clothing and children's toys, to refugees on arrival in Bath and they help to provide computer equipment, connections to the internet, advice, counselling and broader support from the community. In contrast to many other universities in the UK, the University of Bath has so far resisted calls to take any action to support refugees in the UK. While our employer takes its time to do the right thing, we think it is important that staff and students at the university do what they can to support refugees, and so are very pleased to be involved with Bath Welcomes Refugees. Tell Me More!
These are two fantastic organisations, so please do sell all of your possessions and donate your entire bank balance to this page. But, whether or not you can afford to donate, what we really want is for you to get involved. Charity can help, but active solidarity can achieve more. So please:
(1) Contact and get involved with one or both of Labour Behind the Label and Bath Welcomes Refugees (or a local equivalent where you are).
(2) One of the best ways to support workers' rights is by advancing your own! Take 2 minutes to find out which trade union organises people who do the same work as you. Then join your union, and get involved! You can do that here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/join-union. And if you don't work for whatever reason, there's a union for you: join Unite Community today! If you're already a union member, contact your local branch officers to see how you can get more active.
(3) Talk to us! There are so many ways you can get involved with local, national and international solidarity work. Let's meet up for a tea/coffee/pint and have a chat.
(4) If you'd like to join our Bath Half team to promote Labour Behind the Label and Bath Welcomes Refugees, let us know.
Thanks for your support!
Kim and Chris