News from 2016
Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) is today raising concerns about the safety of trade union leaders and workers in Bangladesh, after a number of labour activists and workers were arrested on apparently arbitrary grounds. The arrests have come in the wake of a week of unrest, as thousands of workers in the Ashulia area of Dhaka went on strike to demand higher wages.
An international campaign convinced the Italian-owned factory Maglierie Cristian Impex in Romania to drop the trial against a Romanian investigative journalist for reporting on dire working conditions in one of the largest producers of garments in Romania. The factory employs around 900 people and produces for luxury brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Marco Polo and LaCoste, but also for high street fashion brands such as Zara and Bershka.
Last Friday 16th December the twelve workers accused as a consequence of the riot police intervention in a labour conflict in the Korean-owned SAE-A garment factory in Nicaragua in June, received their sentence. CCC continues to demand that all charges be dropped.
Clean Clothes Campaign, IndustriALL Global Union and the International Trade Union Confederation urge the European Union to adopt a roadmap for Sri Lanka with time-bound measures to comply with the ILO core conventions before the country can benefit from GSP+. Sri Lanka is currently in serious breach of those conventions.
Today four years ago, a fire broke out in the Tazreen Fashions garment factory in Bangladesh. Exits were closed, which meant that the women and men working inside were trapped and could only escape by jumping from upper floor windows. 113 workers died, many more were injured. They were stitching clothes for Walmart, El Corte Ingles, KiK, C&A and many more western brands.
Last night thirteen people who were arrested during the violent repression from riot police in the Korean owned company SAE-Technotex SA in June in Nicaragua were found guilty and face three years in prison. Monday the sentence will be announced.
Clean Clothes Campaign welcomes the attention received by the recent BBC Panorama investigation into the exploitation of Syrian refugees, including children, within the supply chains of major European clothing retailers. We are calling on the Turkish government, the European Union and all major clothing brands to make sure adequate protections are in place that guarantee full respect of the rights of Syrian workers that will continue to be employed in the production of our clothing.
We are calling for the release of Meng Han, Labour Rights Activist who was imprisoned by the Chinese government after his support for workers at a Chinese shoe factory led to a successful strike and negotiation with management. Brands sourcing from the Lide Shoe factory need to step in to ensure human rights are respected.
Update 12 Oct 2016: Today, four days prior to the Amsterdam marathon of which Mizuno is the main sponsor, Mizuno responded negatively to the request of Clean Clothes Campaign to meet the union and settle the case with the workers, instead referring to the Indonesian group Panarub claiming the case is closed. In light of Mizuno's refusal, CCC continues to mobilise their supporters to urge Mizuno to settle the case.
On 29th of September, H&M and WWF have launched a new collection of children’s clothing aimed at leading the way toward a more environmentally friendly garment industry. While H&M and WWF attempt to reduce water pollution and promote closed loop recycling management, core problems of their ‘fast fashion’ model are not addressed. H&M continues to pursue a business model that relies heavily on high sales volumes, rapid growth rates and overconsumption, and is therefore truly unsustainable at heart. The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) fears that the company is once again profiting from a marketing opportunity that will lead to little change for affected people and may mislead consumers.
An agreement in excess of US$5 million has been reached to provide compensation for loss of income, medical and allied care as well as rehabilitation, to the victims of one of the worst industrial accidents in Pakistan. It results from the ILO facilitation and coordination of consultations during a recent mission to Pakistan from 25 July to 5 August.
Worker Rights Consortium, the International Labor Rights Forum, Clean Clothes Campaign, and the Maquila Solidarity Network respond to the explosion at the Tampaco Foils Factory in Bangladesh on 10 September 2016.
Four of the activists who were arrested in Guangdong, China in December last year during a crack down on civil society are to stand on trial soon. In the December incident, more than 50 activists were interrogated and seven were detained or went missing. Next week, Chinese women activists are touring the UK to talk about garment workers in China and the Chinese arrests.
Clean Clothes Campaign strongly condemns the acts of the Nicaraguan government who in a display of violence in response to the call of the Walmart supplier Korean-owned company SAE - A Technotex SA, on June 27, 2016 sent the riot policy into their factory to repress a peaceful workers' protest for improved workers conditions, such us drinking water, realistic production targets, and the reinstatement of two unionised workers.
Please, use the draft letter below to request the intervention of your embassy / EU delegation in Thailand, before Friday July 22. A list of EU embassies in Thailand can be found here: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/thailand/eu_travel/embassies/index_en.htm Also Switzerland and Turkey have embassies in Thailand: https://www.eda.admin.ch/bangkok http://bangkok.emb.mfa.gov.tr/
Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) calls upon the authorities to demand the Thai military junta to stop arresting workers when they exercise their rights to freedom of expression, and to guarantee a transparent and fair referendum for the planned constitutional reform. On June 23, 2016, three board members of Triumph International Thailand Trade Union and ten human rights activists and students where arrested by the military police at the market of Kan Keha Bang Phli Community on the eastern outskirt of Bangkok,while distributing leaflets to encourage workers to exercise their right to vote from distant in the upcoming referendum to be held on August 7, 2016. As most of factory workers come from other provinces, by registering for distance voting, they would not have to go back to their hometown to vote and thus would be able to vote in the area where they work.
Clean Clothes Campaign is shocked by the murder of Kem Ley, a Cambodian political analyst and ally of the labour movement. He was shot in broad daylight on Sunday early morning, just days after Kem Ley spoke on a radio talk show on the prime minister's possible involvement in corruption and after being involved in the Black Monday Movement.
The three main sportswear sponsors of the UEFA European championship 2016, Nike, adidas and Puma, pay poverty wages to the workers that stitch their shirts, shows a report by Collectif Ethique sur l’étiquette (Clean Clothes Campaign in France), presented in English today. The report ‘Foul Play’ exposes the adverse impact on workers of a business model based on low labour costs and relocation to countries with the lowest wages and weak labour regulation. At the same time these brands invest massively in endorsement deals with players, national teams and clubs. Nike, adidas and Puma's prime concern is economic performance and profit, which will be considerable during the European championship, while the workers come off worst.
Clean Clothes Campaign is shocked and highly concerned by the murder of trade union activist Brenda Marleni Estrada Tambito last month. Her murder was one in a range of trade union activist killings and harassments in Guatemala in the last years. In a letter to the Guatemalan President Clean Clothes Campaign condemns the murder and urges to bring the responsible to justice. In a letter to the Guatemalan labour movement, it expressed its solidarity in these difficult times.
On 28 June 2016 Fairtrade announced 3 German brands are ready to sign up to the Fairtrade Textile Standard: 3Freunde, Shirts for Life and Melawear. Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) reiterates its criticism on the lack of solid guarantees that workers that produce clothes under the Fairtrade Textile Standard have received a living wage.