Labour rights violations encountered in 2012

The Clean Clothes Campaign believes that all workers have a right to good and safe working conditions, regardless of sex, age, country of origin, legal status, employment status or location, or any other basis. Fundamental rights include the right to associate freely and bargain collectively, and to earn a living wage that allows workers to live in dignity.

The maps and cases show the labour rights violations that CCC encountered in 2012. We have grouped the types of violations in four categories of labour rights:


Freedom of Association violations

the right to organise or join a group of your own choice, for example a trade union.

Examples of violations

  • The factory management denies the right to form or join a trade union. This happened in the Bratex case in Sri Lanka.
  • Union leaders and members are harassed, discriminated against or fired, for example after raising labour rights violations, as happened at Busana Prima Global in Indonesia.
  • Union leaders or members are confronted with violence, arrest or imprisonment, as happened to workers of the Power Loom Mazdoor Union in Pakistan.
  • Factory management denies the right to collective bargaining of the terms of employment as happened in the Turkish Hera Tekstil case.


Payment and Contracts issues

this includes the right to a living wage, to no forced overtime, to proper payment of overtime, but also illegal factory closures and not paying legally owned severance payment.

Examples of violations

  • Illegally subcontracted workers who are discriminated against and receive even lower wages than their colleagues, because of additional deductions, as happend to the Contemporary Classic workers in India.
  • Workers are forced to work overtime without their consent – and sometimes even without being paid for it. The Orion Conmerx case in India is one of many.
  • Illegal factory closures often result in not paying workers overdue salaries or severance pay, or not paying compensation to which workers are legally entitled. Examples we worked on in 2012 include the closed Kizone factory in Indonesia, and Hey Tekstil in Turkey.


Health, Fire and Safety

the right to a safe and healthy workplace. Many of the cases that we worked on in 2012 were related to unsafe working conditions in garment factories.

Examples of violations

  • In 2012 alone, hundreds of workers have lost their lives or been seriously injured because they were trapped in factories that burnt down. Tragic examples include Tazreen in Bangladesh and Ali Enterprises in Pakistan, with at least 269 and 112 fatalities respectively.
  • Workers developing a disease as a result of the work they are doing (a so-called occupational disease), as happened in the case of Dynamic Casting in China.


Persecution and other threats

Other labour rights violations include child labour, gender discrimination, and other extraordinary violations including persecution and even murder.

In 2012, Thai publisher and labour rights defender Somyot was imprisoned for 'insulting the king' and in Bangladesh, labour rights activist Aminul Islam was killed.

See also:

What CCC believes in
Clean Clothes Model Code of Conduct for the Garment Industry