UW: Stop Exploiting Incarcerated Workers!

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Quinn Rao
Quinn Rao signed this petition

The University of Washington has bought $11 million of dorm furniture made by incarcerated workers at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, WA in the past two decades.

Workers are paid $0.65-$1.70/hour, often not given a choice to work, and face abuse and harassment.

Students at the University of Washington have been asking the university to find an ethical furniture source since 2015. The UW has refused to act.

The University of Washington’s supplier code of conduct explicitly states the following:

“The Supplier shall not use coerced or forced labor, nor subject employees to inhumane or abusive treatment”

“The Supplier shall pay at least the legal minimum wage in all locations in which the Supplier operates.”

“The Supplier shall recognize and respect employees’ rights of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining. The Supplier will not harass, threaten, pressure, discipline, retaliate, reassign or fire any employee in response to union support or union activity, including decisions regarding unionization or organizing”

Correctional Industries has violated all three of these clauses. The UW must be held accountable, and uphold its supplier code of conduct.

Here are our demands:

  1. We demand that the University of Washington amend their Supplier Code of Conduct to explicitly include incarcerated people in their categorization of employees
  2. We demand that the University of Washington publicly denounce the Department of Corrections and advocate for improved living conditions and wages, as demanded by those directly impacted
  3. We demand that the University of Washington cease the purchase of furniture from Correctional Industries, should the Department of Corrections fail to comply.