CCC organisations support wage struggle of Falc East workers in Knjaževac

Organisations within the Clean Clothes Campaign network have signed the following open letter in solidarity with the striking workers at the Falc East factory in Serbia.

We are writing as members and partners of the Clean Clothes Campaign global network to stand in solidarity with striking workers of the Falc East factory and TU Sloga in Knjaževac, Serbia.

Taking into account the gap between wages workers receive and the real cost of living in Serbia, we believe that Falc East workers are asking for the minimum in order to survive the crisis they are facing.

Falc East factory in Knjaževac is one of the subsidiary companies of Falc Spa, Italy, which produces footwear for several luxury European brands. According to reports, the factory in Knjaževac produces one million pairs of shoes a year generating huge profit for the company, while workers have to survive on poverty wages.

In fact, around 80% of workers in the Falc East factory receive a minimum wage, which means that their monthly salary is close to the statistical poverty line for Serbia as defined by the European Union - SILC poverty threshold. The minimum wage in Serbia is 340 EUR per month which is about one third of what should be the living wage for 2021 as calculated by the European Floor Wage.

When Falc East workers ask for 10% of net wage increase, a modest increase of incentives and a meal ticket increase of less than 50 cents, they are demanding not more than the bare minimum.

We are organisations within Clean Clothes Campaign, a global network of over 230 trade unions, labour rights organisations and NGOs dedicated to improving working conditions and empowering workers in the global garment and sportswear industries. Together with TU Sloga and workers from Falc East we will consider necessary further actions to support their struggle to be paid a decent wage.

Solidarity with Falc East workers!

AchACT, Belgium

Buy Responsible Foundation, Poland

Campagna Abiti Puliti, Italy

Centre for the Politics of Emancipation, Serbia

Center for Policies, Initiatives and Researches PLATFORMA, Moldova

Clean Clothes Campaign, Turkey

Collective for Social Interventions, Bulgaria

Fair, Italy

Gender Alliance for Development Center, Albania

Glasen Tekstilec, Macedonia

Globalization Monitor, Hong Kong

Helsinki citizens’ Assembly Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hong Kong Retail, Commerce and Clothing Industry General Union, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Women Workers' Association, Hong Kong

Institute for Critique and Social Emancipation, Albania

Korean House of International Solidarity, South Korea

Kilusang Mayo Uno, Philippines

Labour Action China, Hong Kong

Labour Behind the Label, United Kingdom

Mai Bine, Romania

MADPET, Malaysia

NaZemi, Czech Republic

Novi Sindikat, Croatia

Open Gate, North Macedonia

Pro Ethical Trade, Finland

Public Eye, Switzerland

REDU, Romania

Regional Industrial Trade Union, Croatia

ROZA, Serbia

Setem, Spain

Schone Kleren Campagne, Netherlands

Südwind, Austria

Workers Hub for Change, Malaysia

Zora, Association for Social, Cultural and Creative Development, Bosnia and Herzegovina

published 2023-06-06