€4.7 million in overdue wages
“I'm just asking for the wages for the three months I was not paid, and legal severance pay. After all, it is rightfully due to me.”
Hey Tekstil worker Irfan Edemci
About 420 workers at Hey Tekstil's factory in Istanbul were asked to take three days off in February 2012. The management promised to pay them their wages upon their return to the factory. But the workers returned only to find the factory closed. In May 2012 five other HeyTekstil factories were permanently closed, leaving another 1,618 people jobless without notice.
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) contacted garment trading company Li & Fung from Hong Kong, who was buying from Hey Tekstil for Esprit, Esprit itself, and several other buyers. CCC also engaged with the Fair Labor Association, to which Hey Tekstil was a participating supplier, to seek a resolution to the case.
CCC launched a web appeal and international solidarity actions were held in Thailand, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. Esprit and Li&Fung both have codes of conduct that state wages and benefits should be paid in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Unfortunately, after eight months of actions by the workers and their supporters, the workers of Hey Tekstil still haven't received their overdue wages and severance payments.