News from 2017

published 27-01-2016 11:25, last modified 16-02-2017 16:12

Textile mill fire in Bangladesh signals need for expanded safety inspections and remedy

Textile mill fire in Bangladesh signals need for expanded safety inspections and remedy
16-06-2017 07:53

A devastating fire in a Bangladesh textile mill at the beginning of this month reaffirms the need to extend and expand the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (the Accord), due to end in May 2018. The Accord, established four years ago to improve structural, electrical and fire safety in Bangladesh's garment factories, entered its final year last month and is currently in the process of being renegotiated. While the Accord covers 2.5 million workers in the ready-made-garment industry, workers in Bangladesh's textile mills remain unprotected by this agreement.

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EU should use review to push for workers' rights and freedom of association in Bangladesh

EU should use review to push for workers' rights and freedom of association in Bangladesh
17-05-2017 07:16

Tomorrow, 18 May, the third annual review of the so-called "Sustainability Compact" between Bangladesh, the European Union and the International Labour Organization takes place in Dhaka. Despite optimism voiced by the EU, Bangladesh is still far from meeting its international labour rights' commitments and taking concrete steps enshrined under the Compact. A striking example is the wave of repression which the the Bangladeshi labour movement has faced since December 2016. Clean Clothes Campaign calls upon the EU, as well as brands, national governments and other stakeholders, to maintain pressure on the Bangladeshi government to improve labour conditions and comply with the Compact's demands.

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Marking the anniversary of the landmark agreement on workers' safety

Marking the anniversary of the landmark agreement on workers' safety
11-05-2017 13:19

The first ever legally binding supply chain agreement to address critical building safety concerns – the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety – was signed between global trade unions and some of the world’s most powerful fashion brands four years ago. As we mark the anniversary of the Accord, Clean Clothes Campaign, one of the witness signatories, takes stock of progress made and looks to the future.

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Clean Clothes Campaign welcomes European Parliament's motion to improve garment industry

Clean Clothes Campaign welcomes European Parliament's motion to improve garment industry
26-04-2017 16:09

Clean Clothes Campaign welcomes the motion of the European Parliament on the so called 'EU Flagship Initiative on the garment sector'. Through this motion the Parliament takes on a leadership role in demanding mandatory due diligence in the textile sector, and mandatory transparency in the supply chain – both of which are direly needed to improve the garment industry.

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More Brands Should Reveal Where Their Clothes are Made. 17 Align with Transparency Pledge; Others Should Catch Up

More Brands Should Reveal Where Their Clothes are Made. 17 Align with Transparency Pledge; Others Should Catch Up
20-04-2017 06:04

More apparel and footwear companies should join 17 leading apparel brands that have aligned with an important new transparency pledge, a coalition of unions and human rights and labor rights advocates said in a joint report issued today. The pledge commits companies to publish information that will enable advocates, workers, and consumers to find out where their products are made.

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Focus on labour rights in Sri Lanka prior to the decision on preferential trade access to the EU market

Focus on labour rights in Sri Lanka prior to the decision on preferential trade access to the EU market
02-05-2017 08:29

Two Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) visited Sri Lanka to evaluate respect for labour rights prior to the European Union's decision on granting Sri Lanka the so-called GSP+ preferential trade access. During the visit the government committed to labour rights improvements, such as progress on ongoing cases, allowing trade union access to export processing zones, a revision of the labour law and of the union threshold (currently at 40%), and ensuring that the benefits of the preferential trade status would be shared with the workers.

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German brands s.Oliver and Gerry Weber targeted by protesters in Indonesia

German brands s.Oliver and Gerry Weber targeted by protesters in Indonesia
30-03-2017 13:02

Two Indonesian trade unions organised a protest in front of the German Embassy in Jakarta today (30 March). Protesters brought attention to the responsibility that German brands s.Oliver and Gerry Weber have for thousands of workers who lost their jobs when these brands' Indonesian supplier Jaba Garmindo closed down in 2015.

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Pressure mounting for UNIQLO to pay Indonesian workers compensation

Pressure mounting for UNIQLO to pay Indonesian workers compensation
30-03-2017 13:10

Following the actions on International Women's Day in Hong Kong, two Indonesian unions protested at the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 10.00 A.M. They demand justice for workers at the shuttered factory PT Jaba Garmindo in Indonesia, which supplied Japanese retailer Uniqlo.

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Activists demand UNIQLO pay workers what they are due

Activists demand UNIQLO pay workers what they are due
08-03-2017 09:40

On International Women's Day a coalition of global campaigners are organising a series of actions aimed at the Japanese-owned corporation UNIQLO. The immediate goal is for UNIQLO to take responsibility for 4,000 workers in their supply chain. Protests in front of UNIQLO's stores are taking place in Hong Kong on Wednesday, running parallel to a letter petition targeting UNIQLO's CEO.

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Victory for workers in the Philippines after three months on the picket line

Victory for workers in the Philippines after three months on the picket line
01-03-2017 15:49

Former workers of the Faremo International factory in the Philippines reached an agreement about financial compensation in February, after more than three months of continuous picketing. The workers were protesting the closure of their factory that seemed primarily aimed at curtailing the recently established factory union. Bolstered by international solidarity the dismissed workers stuck together and reached a campaign victory.

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Major developments in Bangladesh labour crackdown - Important first step taken however crisis not resolved

24-02-2017 18:57

After months of intense efforts by labour unions, and labour and human rights organisations, all over the world, yesterday, Bangladesh trade unionists, the government and the employers’ organisation announced the planned release of all remaining detained labour leaders. Clean Clothes Campaign, International Labor Rights Forum and the Worker Rights Consortium welcome the announcement as an important first step, but warn that in its current form it still falls short of fully resolving the crisis in Bangladesh.

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Leading retailers withdraw from Bangladesh garment industry’s annual showcase event

23-02-2017 10:58

Five leading apparel companies -- H&M, Inditex (Zara), C&A, Next and Tchibo -- have pulled out as key speakers and participants from the Dhaka Apparel Summit, organized by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). Their decision to withdraw is a response to the campaign calling to an end of the of repression against the labor movement carried out by the Bangladesh government and factory owners over the last two months. These companies represent billions of dollars in annual garment purchases for Bangladeshi manufacturers.

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Global #EveryDayCounts campaign targets Bangladesh Embassies

Global #EveryDayCounts campaign targets Bangladesh Embassies
16-02-2017 15:43

Protests will be held at Bangladesh Embassies across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia this week, in order to demand an end to the biggest crackdowns on workers’ rights ever seen in the country’s garment industry. As part of the #EveryDayCounts campaign, activists from the Clean Clothes Campaign will join with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), UNI Global Union and IndustriALL Global Union to call for an immediate end to the persecution of garment workers, trade union leaders and worker activists in Bangladesh.

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Labour rights groups call for a review of EU-Bangladesh trade agreement following massive crackdown on workers rights

14-02-2017 10:59

The Clean Clothes Campaign is today joining calls from the global trade unions to demand that the European Union immediately initiate an immediate investigation into serious and systematic violations of fundamental workers’ rights in Bangladesh as provided under the EU’s “Everything But Arms” trade scheme. The call follows the arbitrary arrest and detention of workers and union leaders, the closure of union offices, mass dismissals and ongoing threats and intimidation of union activists.

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Sri Lankan trade union victory shows power of international solidarity

Sri Lankan trade union victory shows power of international solidarity
08-03-2017 13:28

International support and solidarity can make a real difference in local worker struggles shows this week’s success in Sri Lanka. In a workers’ referendum in two factories with a long history of conflict between employees and management, workers voted to have the trade union recognized as legitimate bargaining partner. In the face of years of intense union busting, this testifies to the empowering nature of international solidarity, called in by the trade union.

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Brands must intervene to win release of imprisoned labour leaders in Bangladesh

31-01-2017 15:33

Twenty-two human and labour rights organizations from around the world are calling on H&M, C&A, Inditex, Gap and VF to press for the release of unjustly imprisoned Bangladeshi union leaders and worker rights advocates and the reinstatement of 1,500 workers suspended or terminated for taking part in a wage strike. Sign the petition!

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Nordic fashion brands need to tackle abuse of Syrian refugees in Turkish garment factories

Nordic fashion brands need to tackle abuse of Syrian refugees in Turkish garment factories
18-01-2017 09:00

Thousands of Syrian refugees work long hours in Turkey’s apparel factories in unhealthy conditions with salaries below the minimum wage. Despite Turkey being an important sourcing market for the Nordic brands H&M, KappAhl, Lindex, Gina Tricot and Varner (BikBok, Cubus, Carlings et al), the companies are not doing enough to prevent discrimination of Syrians in their supply chains, according to a report by Fair Action and Future in our hands.

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Bangladeshi garment workers face mass firings and criminal charges

05-01-2017 14:51

Since last month's wage protests began in Dhaka, Bangladesh thousands of workers along with several grass-roots worker organizations located in the region faced a series of repressive actions from their employers and the government. An estimated 2 - 3000 workers were fired, while numerous legal cases filed at the Ashulia police station accuse at least 1,500 unnamed workers and 150 named workers of vandalism, looting, threatening other workers, and assaulting factory officials. At least 13 union leaders and activists, many of whom had no association with the protests, were detained or arrested. As of January 4, 2017, at least 11 remain in police custody.

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European Parliament should vote for an investigation into Bangladesh labour violations

European Parliament should vote for an investigation into Bangladesh labour violations
13-06-2017 14:17

Clean Clothes Campaign is today calling on members of the European Parliament to call for a trade investigation into labour rights abuses as part of a resolution on Bangladesh that will be debated this Wednesday. Such an investigation would be carried out by the European Commission in order to assess whether the ongoing and systematic repression of trade union rights in Bangladesh should disqualify it from accessing preferential trading terms with the EU.

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Four years after Rana Plaza: steps in the right direction but a lot remains to be done

Four years after Rana Plaza: steps in the right direction but a lot remains to be done
26-04-2017 13:17

On 24 April 2017 the Clean Clothes Campaign network will be remembering those killed and injured at Rana Plaza, the multi-story building which collapsed in Bangladesh four years ago. In a statement released today Clean Clothes Campaign sends its thoughts and sympathies to those still grieving for their loved ones, and those still suffering from the physical and psychological scars left by the disaster. Clean Clothes Campaign is also marking the fourth anniversary of Rana Plaza by outlining a set of key actions needed from governments, brands and employers on building safety, workers rights and transparency. These actions are needed to deliver the fundamental change promised in the aftermath of the disaster.

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