2014 Annual Report
The mission of the Stichting Schone Kleren Campagne (SKC) / Clean Clothes Campaign is to improve the working conditions and support the empowerment of workers in the global garment industry. Our ultimate goal is to end suppression, exploitation and abuse of the (mostly female) workers in the garment sector.
CCC/SKC seeks to achieve these objectives through:
- Supporting workers, trade unions and civil society in countries where garments are produced;
- Pressing companies to assume responsibility and to ensure that their garments are produced under good labour conditions;
- Urging citizens to use their power as consumers. This is done through increasing consumer awareness by providing accurate information about working conditions in the garment industry;
- Making use of existing legal opportunities to improve labour conditions and to lobby for additional legislation that contributes to good labour conditions.
In the 25 years of its existence CCC/SKC has grown in stature and its expertise and motivation are respected by consumers, companies, governments and partners alike. Through the combination of exposing exploitation of workers in the garment industry, opposing the limitation of workers to exercise their rights, and proposing effective and feasible ways forward towards a solution, CCC/SKC has been, and will continue to be, an instrumental actor in the process of empowering workers and improving the working conditions – and the lives – of millions of the mostly women garment workers in the world.
Who Run the World? Girls!
SKC continued and increased its work on Safety and Living Wages in 2014. A lot of campaigning took place as part of the 'Who Run the World? Girls!' campaign. The core of this campaign were the portraits and personal stories of nine female garment workers from Cambodia and Bangladesh. These women play a leading role in improving their working conditions and those of their colleagues. The personal stories showed the effects of the unsafe factories and poverty wages on their daily lives to the target group of this campaign: Dutch female consumers in their early twenties.
The increased work and media coverage produced excellent results. There was a considerable increase in the number of Dutch brands that joined the Bangladesh Safety Accord: from 6 to 23 as well as increased attention for the Living Wage campaign. SKC's Facebook following increased five-fold and now stands at over 10,000 while traffic on the SKC website has more than doubled. The professional photo portraits of the nine women travelled throughout the Netherlands as an exhibition, and were shown at 25 locations attracting more than 20,000 visitors.
Global Strategic Framework and Future Structure
After four years of consultation and constructive input from the network, the Future Structure Steering Committee proposed a process for implementing a new structure for the CCC network, which aims to increase its impact and make its work more effective. The new CCC Network Structure will reflect the growth and development of what has been a European-centred network with partners in production countries into a truly global network providing a permanent space for workers' voices. By the end of 2014, key building blocks in the new structure had been built or were significantly under way: vision and mission, spirit and model for the new structure, a Global Strategic Framework, implementation plan, draft scoping study into broadening activities and a Transitional Steering Board.
The process proposal was discussed at the CCC Global Forum meeting for members and partners of the network held in Hong Kong in November 2014. The Forum was organised in collaboration with CCC partner organisation Globalization Monitor (a Hong Kong based NGO) and took place in Hong Kong from 17 to 22 November 2014. The event hosted 223 persons (136 women and 87 men) working with 143 organisations and trade unions from 52 countries. The theme of the Global Forum 'Strategies & Structures' focussed on the new global strategic framework and the 'future structure' of the network. Plenaries and thematic and regional workshops were organised to reflect on the objectives set for the next five years in the Global Strategic Framework and to start building operational strategies which will enable the network to meet those objectives.
Although the revision of the Global Strategic Framework could not be finalised before the Global Forum, a Transitional Steering Board was mandated to finalise the Global Strategic Framework and to implement the Future Structure model, so the process has not been halted and the new structure can be implemented in 2015.
Rana Plaza Plaza Arrangement and Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund
The Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013 left 1,138 families bereaved and over 2,000 workers injured. It was clear that a systematic compensation process was needed to help rebuild their lives. In January 2014, the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund was set up to collect the necessary funds to make payments authorised by the 'Rana Plaza Arrangement'. By end of 2014, the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund received some 21 million US$ in donations from global brands, the Bangladeshi Prime Minister's Fund, trade unions and civil society, leaving US$ 9 million outstanding. Five thousand people – dependants of the deceased and injured workers – have received 40% of the total compensation payment due. The compensation amounts are calculated in line with international standards.
CCC has played a crucial role in setting up the Rana Plaza Arrangement. CCC takes part in the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee alongside representatives from the Bangladesh government, global and local unions, the Bangladesh Garment and Manufacturers and Exports Association, brands, retailers and NGOs overseeing the compensation process. The ILO acts as trustee. This is the first time that a system has been developed to provide compensation to victims of industrial disasters in multinational supply chains, holding multinational companies, along with national actors, responsible for providing a remedy. This ground-breaking system supports the long-term goal of providing a permanent and sustainable system of compensating victims of workplace injuries (including in other sectors).
CCC was also instrumental in establishing the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund and pressurising companies to commit funds to it, through lobby and advocacy globally and in Europe through its European platforms as well as public campaigning. CCC was also instrumental in designing the system and ensuring it is a landmark system. In May 2014, CCC was invited to participate in a round-table meeting organised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, after which the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs increased its support to the Rana Plaza Arrangement. The Dutch Ministry, CCC and SOMO (as OECD Watch host) coordinated efforts during the OECD Global Forum on CSR, resulting in a joint statement by seven European trade ministers in June calling on companies to contribute to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund.
Plan of Action Dutch business Associations and covenant
In 2013 Lilian Ploumen, the Minister for International Trade and Development Cooperation, encouraged the Dutch textile and garment sector to take the problems in the garment industry more seriously than they had to date. This resulted in a proposed 'Plan of Action for the sustainability of the Dutch textile and garment sector'. The Plan of Action encompasses cooperation between companies, the sector as a whole, trade unions and NGOs. One of the working groups involved in this process aims to have all Dutch companies that produce their garments in Bangladesh sign the Bangladesh Safety Accord. SKC has taken on a leading role in the working group.
SKC has intensified its collaboration and joint lobby work with ICN, SOMO, FNV and CNV with regard to all aspects of the Plan of Action and the covenant based on it that the Minister aims to sign with the textile and garment sector.
An urgent appeal is a rapid response to a request for support from workers in the garment industry whose rights are being infringed. Since the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) was launched twenty-five years ago, Clean Clothes activists have supported garment and sportswear workers in almost 450 cases in about 40 different countries where their rights were violated.
Through an urgent appeal, CCC works with and pressures the different parties involved. Those are often fashion brands, buying from the factory where worker's rights are violated, or the factory managements, investors, UN bodies and governments. CCC urges them to take positive action and end the labour rights violations. Other activities involve writing letters of solidarity to workers and their organisations, launching global petitions, social media campaigns and street actions. Most of the cases in which CCC takes action are related to violations of core labour standards on freedom of association, the right to organise, collectively bargain, occupational health and safety, payment and contracts and gender discrimination..
CCC’s role is to voice workers' demands, not to negotiate for them!
Victory for 12 workers and trade unionists in Pakistan
Twelve garment workers and trade union activists of the Power Loom Mazdoor Union in Pakistan were finally acquitted on August 29, 2014 after a trial that had dragged on for more than two years.
Victory: settlement with underwear factory Bratex
We are pleased to announce that the Sri Lankan Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees Union (FTZ&GSEU) reached a settlement with the underwear factory Bratex and the US based company Fruit of the Loom.
Rana Plaza survivor begins European tour
Shila Begum, who spent a whole day trapped under the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building is bringing her story to consumers and brands in Europe in order to urge brands to pay up.
CCC is a network organisation consisting of European network coalitions and a strong international partner network. Our network members are autonomous organisations, consisting of labour unions and social organisations (women’s organisations, consumer organisations, research institutes, organisations for fair trade, solidarity groups, youth groups, churches, etc).
In total, more than 250 different organisations participate in the campaign.
The CCC International Secretariat shares an office in Amsterdam with the Dutch member Schone Kleren Campagne (SKC) and a common Bureau unit for administrative support for both these secretariats. In 2013 we moved into new premises in the centre of Amsterdam.
The International Secretariat (CCC-IS)
- Coordinates international activities and campaigns.
- Facilitates development of strategy and policy.
- Facilitates the international campaign structures and communication.
- Takes care of publications, renders information accessible to a broad public
- Engages in or commissions research
- Conducts training, capacity building and exchange within the network.
The Dutch Secretariat (SKC)
- SKC aims at awareness building and activating of the Dutch community by presenting information and conducting campaigns.
- In addition, SKC lobbies actively with Dutch garment companies and presents constructive solutions towards implementation of corporately responsible choices in the supply chains of these companies.
- Furthermore, SKC supports workers and their organisations in urgent appeals involving Dutch businesses.
- Finally, SKC urges governmental authorities to implement good legislation and to buy responsibly themselves.
- For more information (in Dutch language), please see www.schonekleren.nl
Organisation team and decision making
SKC/CCC has no director or management team. Since 2011 an ‘Organisation Team’ (OT), consisting of one representative of each of the International Secretariat, the Dutch Secretariat and the Bureau, has been called into existence. All decisions on matters related to working conditions, such as salary or overtime policy, are made by all staff jointly.
The principles of governance adhered to by SKC/CCC are formulated in the Statutes and Byelaws. The organisation’s board consists of five (volunteer) members.
Composition of the board:
Mr. Evert de Boer (chairman), Mr. Sjef Stoop (treasurer), Ms. Hester Klute (secretary),
Ms. Nina Ascoly, Mr. Just van der Hoeven (members)
Financial overview CCC/SKC
In 2014 SKC/CCC acquired various new grants. In March 2014 SCK/CCC received a one-off general contribution of € 500,000 from Nationale Postcode Loterij. In addition the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported the work carried out for the purpose of the Bangladesh Safety Accord for the second (and last) time, contributing € 125,000 on this occasion. The Oxfam Novib 'Women, Peace and Security Fund' also supported SKC for the second (and last) time, contributing € 75,000 to the one-year project 'We want clean clothes'.
In 2014 in association with, and as a member of, the Fair Green and Global Alliance (FGG) SCK/CCC submitted an application for a Partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning Advocacy and Outreach. The application was successful. At the time of preparing this report it was announced that over the next five years the FGG Alliance will be allocated a maximum sum of € 11.9 million a year, an annual € 1.5 million of which is for SKC/CCC. Furthermore on the invitation of and in association with Mama Cash, SKC/CCC submitted a project proposal for a two-year project called 'Women Power Fashion'. It was announced at the Goed Geld Gala ('Good Money Gala') in January 2015 that the application had been granted, involving a sum of approximately € 750,000 annually for SKC/CCC
SKC / CCC's equity as at 31 December 2013 amounted to € 186,298. The organisation posted a result of € 587,873 for 2014. The result will be added to equity/earmarked reserves.
Fund-raising costs amounted to € 34,113 in 2014 and mainly concern staff costs. SKC/CCC acquires funds almost entirely by applying for grants rather than relying, for instance, on the generosity of the Dutch public.
In 2014 the percentage of income spent on the objective was 73%. Because the Nationale Postcode Loterij (NPL) contribution of € 500,000 is included in income in 2014 but the associated costs will only be incurred in 2015, expenditure on the objective in 2014 would seem to be lower. When excluding the NPL contribution from the income figure, the percentage spent on the objective is 91%. The percentage in 2013 was 94%.
In 2014 the percentage of expenditure on the objective was 95% The percentage in 2013 was 93%.
Schone Kleren Campaigne / Clean Clothes Campaign does not invest in shares, bonds or other risky financial instruments. Schone Kleren Campaigne / Clean Clothes Campaign strived to arrange its banking sustainably and responsibly. Assets not immediately needed are stalled in a directly accessible savings account at the ASN bank.
All employees of Schone Kleren Campaigne / Clean Clothes Campaign receive the same salary, irrespective of age, seniority or position within the organisation. The gross monthly salary for all employees was 2,854 euro for a 36-hour work-week in 2014 (2013: 2,784 euro).