Student Action with Workers was founded in 2003 with the purpose of mobilizing support for labor solidarity campaigns. We focus our efforts on local and campus workers and workers around the world who manufacture UNC-CH licensed apparel. We work to raise awareness about workers’ rights and economic justice within the UNC-CH and wider Triangle community by building solidarity between students, workers, and community members. We advocate for freedom of association, collective bargaining, healthy working conditions, and a living wage for all workers.
Co-Chair: Shannon Brien
Points of Unity
- We work in solidarity with, not for, working people’s struggles. In order to best accomplish this and in recognition of the interconnections between local and global struggles, we strive to build relationships with other progressive movements and cooperate in coalition with other groups struggling for justice within all communities–campus, local, regional, and international.
- We struggle against racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and other forms of oppression within our society, within our organizations, and within ourselves. Not only are we collectively confronting these prejudices as inherent defects of the global economy, but we also recognize the need for individuals to confront the prejudices they have internalized as the result of living and learning in a flawed and oppressive society.
- We are working to build a grassroots student movement at UNC, in North Carolina, and the rest of the South that challenges corporate power and fights for economic justice. We strive to act in coordination with one another to mobilize resources and build a national network while reserving the autonomy of individuals, organizations, and campuses. We do not impose a single ideological position, practice, or approach; rather, we aim to support one another in a spirit of respect for difference, shared purpose and hope.
- We strive to act democratically. With the understanding that we live and learn in a state of imperfect government, we attempt to achieve truer democracy in making decisions which affect our collective work. Furthermore, we strive to empower one another as individuals and as a collective through trust, patience, and an open spirit.
- The power of these principles to unify us as Student Action with Workers ultimately rests with the individual. Self-evaluation and personal responsibility are critical to the effectiveness of our work. We all must continue to struggle as individuals in order to struggle in concert, thus we strive for compassion and support for one another as we continue this endeavor together.
These Points of Unity are adapted from United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) Points of Unity. SAW is an affiliate organization of USAS.