Over fifteen years of union-busting

For over fifteen years workers at a factory near Lahore, Pakistan, have been fighting union-busting practices by the factory management. Among the tactics employed are the firing of union officials, legal cases against the union and refusal to comply with court orders for a union referendum.

Since 1997 the Ittefaq Mazdoor Union has been fighting to gain recognition at the factory, and to raise labour rights violations such as long working hours, wage and payment issues and critical health and safety concerns.
Reported actions taken against the union by the factory management include court cases and injunctions, the firing over a thousand workers because of their trade union membership, and setting up fake (so-called ‘yellow’) trade unions in order to undermine the work of the Ittefaq Mazdoor Union.
After nine years 29 workers continue to pursue these cases through the courts. The last hearing was in March 2014, when the management failed to show up yet again.

This relentless union-busting led the trade union to contact the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) for international support in January 2013. CCC has been in contact with several brands with production at the factory, including Adidas, Esprit, Next, Levi's and the Varner group. Together with the union, CCC has been pushing the buyers to reinstate the 29 workers in their original jobs with back pay, to hold a referendum on union recognition and to drop all legal charges against the workers and the union.