News from 2010
On November 18th Sous Chantha, a trade union leader, was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Unions (C.CAWDU) believes this arrest to be a frame-up in order to disturb his union activities. Sous Chanta risks 2 to 5 years in jail.
This appeal is no longer active.
At least 28 more Bangladeshi garment workers have died and dozens more have been injured when a fire broke out on the 9th and 10th floors of the "That's It Sportswear Ltd" factory just outside the capital Dhaka. Labour rights groups are calling for action: "failure of brands, government and manufacturers to take preventive action condemns more workers to die."
The Clean Clothes Campaign has launched an appeal on jeans producers to stop sandblasting their products. Sandblasting can cause an acute form of the deadly lung disease silicosis. The practise puts the lives of thousands of sandblasting operators at serious risk. It's often performed in small workshops in the informal sector in jeans-producing countries like Bangladesh, Egypt, China, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico. Almost all of the jeans sold in Europe are produced in these countries. In Turkey alone, 46 documented cases of sandblasters contracting silicosis and dying have been registered. This is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg.
787 Cambodian workers are still waiting for reinstatement almost two months after they were sacked for participating in a strike for better wages. CCC has contacted the major buyers from the factories involved, including Gap, Zara and H&M, to demand that these workers are allowed to return to work immediately.
The CCC is asking garment brands and retailers sourcing from Cambodia to ensure that 261 factory unionists who have been unfairly dismissed or suspended from work are immediately reinstated in their factories. The CCC is also deeply concerned about reports of ongoing violence against trade unionists and labour-rights activists, legal threats against organisers, and court-sponsored retaliation against union members.
On Thursday 16 September Cambodian union leaders decided to a temporary cessation of a mass strike calling for a living wage of 93 US $. The strike started on Monday 13 September with 60.000 workers but won quickly in importance with 200,000 participating workers in over 90 factories at the moment of cessation. The government invited the unions for a negotiation meeting that will take place on September 27. This is occurring in an on-going climate of threat of retaliation for supporting the striking worker rights.
The Clean Clothes Campaign is very pleased to announce the release of Kalpona Akter, Babul Akhter and Aminul Islam after spending 30 days in custody. During a special hearing on Wednesday September 8, 2010, a magistrate judge granted bail to the three defendants, and ordered their release.
Take action now to condemn the kidnapping of a trade union leader at a Marks & Spencer supplier factory in India. The union leader was abducted on August 25 by a gang at the factory grounds where he works. The kidnapping was part of a brutal attack against 60 workers, mostly women. It took place as they arrived for work at the Viva Global factory in Gurgaon, India.
UPDATE: Recently we informed you about the intimidation and harassment of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. On July 30 2010, more criminal cases were filed against the BCWS staff and other worker leaders. On the night of August 12 2010, 20 police officers arrested Kalpona Akter and Babul Akhter. They are still being held in detention. Your urgent support is needed to stop the crackdown on the labour rights organisations.
On June 16 2010, a staff member of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity (BCWS) was detained and severely beaten by Bangladeshi security forces. This occurred just two weeks after BCWS was arbitrarily stripped of its legal status as an NGO. Take action today to support BCWS staff.
Trade unions and labour groups in Bangladesh continue their call upon international buyers to ensure the compensation meets the needs of the families of the workers who died in a fire in the Garib & Garib factory in February this year.
The Clean Clothes campaign is very pleased that Somyot Prukasakasemsuk has been released, and wants to thank you all very much for your quick action and support!
Please contact the Thai authorities today and ask the immediate release of Somyot Pruksakasemsuk. The well-known Thai labour- and human-rights advocate has been arrested following the recent political upheaval in Thailand.
April 11 marks the fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Spectrum/Shahriyar Sweater factory in Bangladesh, which killed 64 workers and injured 80, 54 of whom were seriously injured. The Spectrum collapse focused global attention on the chronic safety problems in the Bangladesh garment industry. To mark the anniversary of the Spectrum collapse, the CCC, the Maquila Solidarity Network (Canada), and the International Labor Rights Forum (USA) call upon all buyers sourcing garments in Bangladesh to take proactive, sustained, and coordinated measures to help eliminate these systemic problems.
Following a horrific factory fire that killed 21 employees of a garment factory in Bangladesh, the factory workers are demanding swift reforms, a criminal investigation and compensation for the victims. Support these workers’ demands by writing to the Government of Bangladesh and international fashion brands sourcing from this factory.
On March 8, 2010, Puhtaat Vaatteet, Clean Clothes Campaign Finland, was launched at a seminar attended by representatives of Finnish clothing brands, journalists and interested consumers. A report on the policies of clothing companies in Finland, which was presented as well, demonstrates that there is much room for improvement in terms of CSR performance.
Bangladesh unions and international labour rights organisations are calling for immediate action from brands and the government of Bangladesh following a fatal factory fire which killed at least 21 workers and injured a further 50.
On Saturday 27 february, As the Olympic torch was handed on from this year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver to London, the Playfair 2012 coalition launched a campaign for an ethical London Games.
Despite making positive statements at the time of the 2008 Olympics about cleaning up an industry rife with rights violations, major sportswear brands have taken little action since to improve wages and working conditions for the workers who produce their goods.