RESEARCH/ SACOM REPORT
SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour) is a Hong Kong-based non profit organization founded in 2005. Its aim is to monitor the labour practices of international brands and advocate for labour rights in mainland China http://sacom.hk
In collaboration with the Digital Methods Initiative and the Chinese University of Hong Kong and with an international team of researchers we presented the report "Making Labour Advocacy Urgent. Tactics and Issue Rhetorics in the Workers’ Rights Issue Space."
Since its founding, SACOM has been in the forefront of the labour campaigns to uncover the rampant rights violations at the brands’ suppliers, and to inform the public, particularly consumers, of the social costs of brand name products. By mobilizing support from frontline workers, activists, students and consumers, SACOM has greater leverage to intervene in the labour rights abuses in the brands’ global supply chains. In the past 11 years, SACOM successfully put corporate labour practices under the limelight by adopting the research-report-campaign model.
SACOM Working Model:
Collect first-hand information from workers
Report the realities of the sweatshops to consumers through media campaigns
Work through direct action with international partners to press the brands to rectify the problems in their supply chains
This year SACOM has launched separate campaigns against UNIQLO, H&M, ZARA and GAP, the leading fast fashion brands in the worldwide. Despite of following the usual research-report-campaign model, they also produced multimedia content (a serious game and a video animation) shared on social media. However, the result and the impact of the social media campaigns and the engagement with the target audience are yet to be fully satisfied
The questions posed by the project concern how to make labour advocacy into an issue of urgent public concern with ‘reach’ in social media. Which kinds of formulas and formats grant poignancy to an issue, and sustain both professional as well as public attention? The project also is particularly interested in SACOM’s strategies, as they have evolved from report writing to serious games and graphic animation. How do SACOM and other organizations’ position themselves, substantively and tactically, in the agenda and action repertoires of the field? Whilst living wages may be the leading issue, and launching a call on a global petition community the top strategy, how might a labour advocacy NGO deploy social media tactically to fit its issue work?