Fruit of the Loon

Once is an unfortunate mistake, but twice is downright careless. Students have sent clear and repeated messages that they do not want sweatshop-made clothes being sold by their Union, and have voted to pass a Sweatshops and Ethical Merchandise policy to this effect. And yet once again, it appears that Union officers are interested in little more than gestures toward a more ethical policy, and that when it comes down to it, they’re quite happy to save a few quid at the expense of their members’ wishes.

Maybe not all students are concerned if their Roses t-shirts came ready-infused with a whiff of sweat; all the same, when students vote for a policy, it’s surely reasonable to expect that all Union officers should uphold it. AU President Tom Moore, in admitting that he really couldn’t care less about where the merchandise his organisation orders comes from, has demonstrated a whole new level of contempt for the wishes of students. He may well think that the vast majority of students “aren’t bothered”, but it’s not his job to act unilaterally as their spokesman. He is bound by YUSU’s rules, and he chose to ignore them.

This isn’t a matter of one opinion against another: people are entitled to make their own decisions. That doesn’t change the fact that a democratically enacted policy has been repeatedly flouted by someone whose job requires he abide by it. This isn’t ethics, it’s the rules, and Moore ought to learn to stick to them.

One comment

  1. Dear Nouse

    Thanks for your continued interest in this issue. It’s a great shame that it still remains an issue, but I am sure that it will be resolved much quicker if it is given the attention it deserves (and you afford it). It is a scandal that a Union Officer cares so little for rules or procedure, but an even greater scandal is the continuing attitude of irrelevance towards ethical issues by individuals and groups on campus. People say they don’t care, and more absurdly, that students can’t afford to care. Tom Moore or any other Union Officer has no right to assume your readership have such short attention spans and selfish wallets as himself. Students are gifted the time and energy to be political – and those of us that do will change this world for the better. I’m not exaggerating. It’s that important.

    So please – stay angry and keep up the good work!

    Ric Lander
    (Former Chair of People & Planet Soc)

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