UAW Calls On Automakers To Move Supply Chains Out Of Xinjiang Following Forced Labor Report


A new report released by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University, in the U.K., has found that a wide array of parts used in automotive manufacturing coming out of China’s Xinjiang could be made with the use of forced labor. That has pushed the American United Auto Workers (UAW) union to call on automakers to move their entire supply chain out of the region.

“The time is now for the auto industry to establish high-road supply chain models outside the Uyghur Region that protect labor and human rights and the environment,” said UAW President Ray Curry, per Reuters.

The union cited research from Sheffield Hallam University that looked at the auto industry’s use of steel, aluminum, and copper, as well as batteries, electronics, and other components that were produced in the Xinjiang region.

Read: VW Denies Claims Of Forced Labor At SAIC Joint Venture Plant In Xinjiang

“Between raw materials mining/processing and auto parts manufacturing, we found that practically every part of the car would require heightened scrutiny to ensure that it was free of Uyghur forced labor,” the report’s authors wrote. “In some cases, Uyghur forced labor is apparent at multiple steps” of manufacturing, mining, refining, pre-fabrication, and assembly.

China has denied abuses in Xinjiang, saying instead that it has established “vocational training centers.” in the region. In June, though, the United States banned the import of goods made using forced labor from Xinjiang.

The law was viewed as pushback by the U.S. against China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim population. Washington has labeled the country’s actions against the minority as a genocide. Thea Lee, the deputy undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Labor Department, told Reuters in July that her “message to companies has been: ‘You need to start taking this seriously.’”

Automakers have not been quick to pull out of the area, despite countless reports of abuses. Tesla opened a showroom in the area this year, and VW operates a plant in the region, though it has denied claims of using forced labor.


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