News from 2018

published 27-01-2016 11:25, last modified 22-02-2018 10:16

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Bangladesh Government attempts to paralyze Accord and strip its independence by Christie Miedema — last modified 10-12-2018 16:17
The Bangladesh government is using proceedings before the Supreme Court of Bangladesh to prevent the Accord on Fire and Building Safety from operating, thereby putting workers’ safety at risk.
Why we are staying away from H&M’s living wage summit in Cambodia by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 11-12-2018 06:21
Clean Clothes Campaign International office declined an invitation to the “Fair living wage summit” that H&M is organizing on 11 December in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We want to make sure that our absence is not misrepresented at the summit or in other situations and are therefore sharing some background that led to that decision.
Hearing in KiK case before Regional Court in Germany by Christie Miedema — last modified 29-11-2018 13:49
“My son has paid with his life for the profits of KiK. Finally, a German court is looking into the case.” For claimant Saeeda Khatoon, the first hearing in the proceedings against German clothing retailer KiK in front of the Dortmund Regional Court is an important step – regardless of its outcome. Her son died in the fire that broke out in the Ali Enterprises factory – a KiK supplier – on 11 September 2012 in Karachi (Pakistan). “For 258 people the factory became a death trap. Nobody will be able to make up for this loss. But those responsible should at least be held liable. KiK was the factory’s main customer and therefore bears some of the responsibility for the inadequate fire safety measures.”
Response to today's High Court hearing on the Bangladesh Accord by Christie Miedema — last modified 29-11-2018 10:15
The Bangladesh High Court today conducted a hearing following the appeal filed by the Bangladesh Accord against the restraining order on its Bangladesh operations. The restraining order was due to take effect on 30 November. The High Court scheduled a new hearing on 6 December and lifted the restraining order until that date. The hearing took place amidst mounting international pressure and calls for the international community for the permanent removal of the order. Given the grave consequences expulsion of the Bangladesh Accord would bring for workers and the overall garment industry, it is imperative that this threat be permanently ended next week.
Japanese retail giant Uniqlo shows contempt towards garment workers just prior to AGM by Mirjam van Heugten — last modified 11-04-2019 15:15
On 14 November 2018, Uniqlo walked away from a mediation process in Jakarta without making a substantial offer to former union representatives of the Jaba Garmindo factory, which went bankrupt in 2015 as a result of Uniqlo´s predatory purchasing practices. Following the unexpected factory closure, two thousand workers, mostly women, found themselves in huge debts and without prospects of employment
A wave of actions against poverty wages hits H&M’s largest markets and production locations by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 27-11-2018 14:00
The ongoing #TurnAroundHM global week of action has shown the growing resentment over H&M’s broken living wage commitment. Workers, activists and consumers in some of H&M’s largest markets and in a number of production countries are holding H&M accountable for the broken commitment that 850,000 workers would start getting paid a living wage by this year.
Week of Justice asks attention for accountability after deadly Pakistani garment factory fire by Christie Miedema — last modified 26-11-2018 16:01
In an international week of events focusing on the deadly Ali Enterprises factory fire of 2012 a group of labour and human rights organizations tries to answer the question: if workers die stitching our clothes, who should be held responsible?
Six years after deadly garment factory fire, Bangladesh risks new wave of factory incidents by Christie Miedema — last modified 23-11-2018 15:36
Today marks the sixth anniversary of the deadly Tazreen factory fire, which killed at least 112 workers who were producing clothes for a range of international brands, including Walmart, C&A, El Corte Ingles and KiK. As survivors and families of killed workers commemorate this fateful day, Bangladesh is moving fast towards a situation in which factories could quickly return to the death traps that they were in 2012. The announced forced closure of the Bangladesh Accord’s domestic office operations later this month threatens to undermine the positive developments of the last five years and to plunge the country back into a situation in which workers will have to fear for their lives when entering their workplace.
Global week of action against poverty wages at H&M by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 23-11-2018 05:55
From Delhi to London, from Washington, DC to Zagreb, with many cities in between, workers and activists are drawing attention to H&M’s broken commitment that 850,000 garment workers would be paid a living wage by this year. Expressions of solidarity with garment workers and denouncements of poor and precarious working conditions have also been coming from other parts of the H&M's global supply chain.
European Parliament slams Bangladesh Government on human rights and calls for the continuation of the Accord by Paul Roeland — last modified 15-11-2018 12:47
Today the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the Bangladesh Government to urgently act to address deteriorating human rights conditions.
#WeDemandTk16000: International solidarity with the workers in Bangladesh by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 12-10-2018 09:03
The struggle for a minimum wage in Bangladesh that would enable a decent life continues. Following a series of public rallies, press conferences and round tables, a number of workers are on a hunger strike today. This action, organized by the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF), an IndustriALL global union affiliate, should serve as a stark reminder that the announced minimum wage of 8,000 taka will leave many workers and their families hungry and unable to cover other basic living cost.
As UNIQLO pops the champaign in Europe, deprived garment workers knock its door in Japan by Mirjam van Heugten — last modified 11-10-2018 02:10
Today two garment workers, part of a group of 2000 workers from Indonesia, tour Japan calling on UNIQLO after the retailer turned down a request to meet earlier this week. The tour is part of the global Pay Up UNIQLO campaign taking place in Europe, the US, Indonesia and East Asia, uniting campaigners and workers in support of the worker’s fight for 5.5M USD in compensation after loosing their job when the Jaba Garmindo factory in Indonesia went bankrupt in 2015, two months after UNIQLO pulled its orders from the factory.
Five years since Rana Plaza, workers injured at the job in Bangladesh still face insecurity and dire poverty by Christie Miedema — last modified 07-10-2018 11:06
The deadly Rana Plaza collapse of 2013, killing at least 1,134 workers making clothes for Western markets, was the largest, but not the last factory incident in Bangladesh. Five years ago today, only six months after the horrific Rana Plaza tragedy, seven workers died and over fifty were injured in a fire in the Aswad Composite Textile Mill. While a world-wide campaign began to ensure compensation for the families of the Rana Plaza workers, the families affected by the Aswad fire were left with nothing, and have yet to receive a single penny in compensation. Devastatingly, the Aswad fire victims’ families are not alone - since the Rana Plaza collapse, over 540 workers have been killed and injured in factory incidents in Bangladesh. On the fifth anniversary of the Aswad factory fire, Clean Clothes Campaign calls upon the Bangladesh government and others involved in the industry to finally create a national employment injury insurance scheme that would cover all workers in Bangladesh.
Workers reveal poverty wages and labour law violations in H&M's supply chain by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 26-09-2018 07:56
Research findings published this week around the world reveal that many workers making H&M’s clothes live below the poverty line -- despite H&M’s promise of a living wage by 2018, and despite the brand’s recent deceptive claims of progress. Interviewed workers in India and Turkey earn about a third and in Cambodia less than one-half of the estimated living wage. In Bulgaria interviewed workers’ salary at H&M’s “gold supplier” is not even 10 per cent of what would be required for workers and their families to have decent lives.
Outrageous new minimum wage announced in Bangladesh by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 21-09-2018 09:19
In a climate of fear and intimidation and after months of delays, Bangladeshi authorities have announced the new monthly minimum wage of 8,000 taka (USD 95) for the 4.5 million workers in the garment sector in Bangladesh. This amount shows complete disregard for legitimate workers' unions and for the need to set wages through social dialogue.
Complaint filed against Italian auditor for ignoring fatal flaws in garment factory by Christie Miedema — last modified 11-09-2018 06:24
More than 250 people died and dozens were injured in a fire at the Ali Enterprises textile factory in Karachi, Pakistan, on 11 September 2012. Only three weeks before, Italian auditor RINA Services S.p.A. certified the factory for abiding to international labour standards. Marking the six year anniversary of the disaster an international coalition of eight human rights, labour and consumer organizations file a complaint to the OECD National Contact Point (NCP) at the Ministry for Economic Development in Rome against RINA, the company that could have prevented hundreds of deaths by doing its work properly.
Brands’ support for a living wage for garment workers in Bangladesh by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 21-09-2018 09:20
The Minimum Wage Board in Bangladesh will reconvene on Wednesday, 29 August, to set the new statutory minimum wage for workers in Bangladesh’s garment industry. Ahead of this meeting Clean Clothes Campaign, the International Labor Rights Forum and Maquila Solidarity Network jointly urged major brands sourcing from Bangladesh to publicly support workers’ demands. These include the minimum wage of 16,000 taka, a statutory framework to govern pay grades and promotion and other welfare measures. Inditex – the owner of Zara, Bershka, Pull and Bear and several other labels – was the first to publicly respond in a positive manner.
As UNIQLO arrives in Scandinavia, Indonesian garment workers demand justice by Mirjam van Heugten — last modified 28-08-2018 08:39
As UNIQLO, Japan’s largest clothing retailer, hits Stockholm on Thursday 24 August with a huge opening party at its new flagship store, labour rights campaigners demand the fast fashion giant act immediately to settle a long running dispute with 2000 Indonesia workers fighting for USD 5.5 million they are owed in lost wages and unpaid severance.
Clean Clothes Campaign condemns employers' minimum wage proposal for workers in Bangladesh and urges brands to take action by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 21-09-2018 09:21
The Bangladesh garment industry employers’ association has shown utmost disregard for workers’ wellbeing and for their lives outside of garment factories. On Monday, 16 July, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) submitted a proposal to the relevant public authority for the workers’ minimum wage to be set at 6,360 taka (about 75 USD). Not only does this amount not meet any living wage standard for Bangladesh – it does not even remedy employers’ disregard for the legally required increases over the past five years.
Full support for Bangladeshi garment workers’ demands on minimum wage by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 06-07-2018 08:13
Ahead of the long overdue meeting of the national Minimum Wage Board, set to take place on Sunday, 8 July, Clean Clothes Campaign expresses solidarity with workers in Bangladesh and full support for their demands. We urge the Minimum Wage Board to increase the minimum wage to 16,000 taka without delay, and to adopt other measures requested by workers and their representatives.
UNIQLO makes Federer cry: Federer’s new sponsor UNIQLO pays him millions, but refuses wages to workers by Christie Miedema — last modified 05-07-2018 08:06
Since 2015, 2,000 laid-off Indonesian workers who made clothes for UNIQLO and other companies have been waiting for USD 5.5 million of unpaid wages and severance pay. That must make Roger Federer – known for his sense of fairness – cry as much as it does us. That is why at fans and activists are calling on the tennis star to join an urgent international action to make his new sponsor change its stance. Public Eye and Clean Clothes Campaign are criticizing UNIQLO for failing to live up to its social responsibility towards the affected women and men by refusing to negotiate with Indonesian trade unions over compensation for former factory workers.
Bangladesh could risk trade benefits if it does not get serious about workers’ rights by Christie Miedema — last modified 26-06-2018 10:31
The European Union and the government of Bangladesh face an excellent opportunity to show they are serious about workers’ rights in the garment industry.
Complaint lodged against the European Commission for failing to uphold fundamental human rights in trade policy by Christie Miedema — last modified 11-06-2018 07:44
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), and the HEC-NYU EU Public Interest Clinic have today filed a formal complaint with the European Ombudsman. The labour rights organizations claim the European Commission is not taking into account its human rights obligations regarding trade policies towards Bangladesh, and is not transparent about doing so.
Adidas and Nike pay record-breaking amounts to footballers, but deny decent wages to women stitching their shirts by Christie Miedema — last modified 11-06-2018 07:32
While millions of people are getting ready to cheer their favorite teams during the Football World Cup, a report by Éthique sur l’étiquette and Clean Clothes Campaign, ‘Foul Play’, reveals that adidas and Nike, major sponsors of the global event, pay poverty wages to the thousands of women in their supply chain that sew the football shirts and shoes of players and supporters.
"Turn Around, H&M!" campaigners demand transparency on H&M's wage efforts by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 10-12-2018 08:55
In a letter to H&M's Head of Sustainability the "Turn Around, H&M!" campaigners pointed out the different ways in which the response to CCC's public letter sent in March was unsatisfactory. Campaigners once again called for concrete data and expressed the expectation that H&M will yet live up to its commitment that 850,000 workers would be paid a living wage this year.
New research unveils gender based violence in H&M and Gap garment supply chains by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 01-06-2018 08:23
A global coalition of trade unions, worker rights and human rights organizations released groundbreaking factory level research reports documenting gender based violence in H&M and Gap’s Asian garment supply chains. The coalition calls on H&M and Gap to take immediate action to end the violence and harassment that women garment workers are forced to endure daily.
Work to make Bangladeshi factories safe continues, but IKEA refuses to join by Christie Miedema — last modified 01-06-2018 11:59
Today, 1 June, the 2018 Transition Accord will take effect, working to make garment factories in Bangladesh safer. It will continue the work of its predecessor, which was established shortly after the deadly Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, to inspect factories and monitor renovations in a credible and transparent way. The new Accord has a range of new features, including the fact that it now welcomes producers of home textiles and fabric and knit accessories, next to garment factories. This means that more companies can join and more workers can be protected. However, IKEA, the largest home furnishing company in the world, has refused to bring the home textile factories it sources from in Bangladesh under the purview of the Accord.
Families affected by 2012 Ali Enterprises fire finally receive life-long pensions by Christie Miedema — last modified 20-05-2018 10:22
As of yesterday, Saturday 19 May, survivors and families that lost loved ones at the Ali Enterprises fire of 2012 will receive pensions out of a fund financed by the factory’s main buyer, German retailer KiK. The process was lengthy – the families had to wait for more than six years -, but the outcome is ground-breaking. In a global precedent for the garment industry, the families will receive life-long pensions matching international standards as set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Workers and activists call on H&M’s shareholders to fulfill the living wage commitment by Christie Miedema — last modified 10-12-2018 08:56
As H&M’s shareholders are gathering in Stockholm for their annual meeting (AGM), the growing international coalition behind the “Turn Around, H&M!” campaign is drawing attention to the fact that H&M is on course to let down hundreds of thousands of workers who have been waiting for a living wage.
Campaign launch: Turn around, H&M! by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 10-12-2018 08:57
Clean Clothes Campaign is dedicating this year’s International Labour Day to the hundreds of thousands of workers who produce garments for H&M. They are waiting for the brand to stop turning its back on the commitment that living wages would become a reality by 2018.
Brands sourcing from Bangladesh urged to support workers’ minimum wage demands by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 21-09-2018 09:22
More than 20 of the largest brands sourcing from Bangladesh have received a request for them to support garment workers’ demands regarding minimum wage, which has not been revised in five years and is one of the lowest in the global garment industry. Clean Clothes Campaign also urged the brands to call on the government of Bangladesh to immediately end the harassment of workers and labour activists.
Five years on, Clean Clothes Campaign commemorates Rana Plaza workers and calls for a recommitment for meaningful change in the garment industry by Christie Miedema — last modified 26-04-2018 08:29
Today five years ago, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. Thousands of workers at their sewing machines in the five factories that the building housed were buried in the collapsed structure ‑ 1,134 of them died, thousands more were injured. On this day our thoughts are with the families who lost loved ones five years ago and with the survivors that have to live with the memories of that dreadful tragedy.
Indonesian garment workers appeal to Uniqlo CEO in letters to take action on severance debt by Mirjam van Heugten — last modified 20-04-2018 11:12
Seventy ex-workers of an Indonesian garment factory, which until its illegal closure three years ago was supplying Japanese fashion giant Uniqlo, have made a personal plea to Tadashi Yanai - Uniqlo’s billionaire owner - calling on him to intervene directly to ensure they finally receive their unpaid wages and severance.
Five years after Rana Plaza, the need for the Bangladesh Accord persists by Christie Miedema — last modified 18-04-2018 15:50
On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster that killed 1,134 workers, global trade unions and labour rights organizations are calling on all brands sourcing from Bangladesh to take responsibility for workers making their products by signing the renewed Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety.
Clean Clothes Campaign starts week of action to urge brands to sign the 2018 Bangladesh Accord by Christie Miedema — last modified 18-04-2018 15:49
Today, a week ahead of the five year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, Clean Clothes Campaign and allies are starting a week of action, urging garment brands to make factories in Bangladesh safe by signing the 2018 Transition Accord.
H&M is trying to cover up its unfulfilled commitment on living wage by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 10-12-2018 08:58
In its 2017 Sustainability Report published today H&M is making bold claims about progress in the area of fair jobs, with a focus on living wage. Clean Clothes Campaign has been closely following H&M’s reporting in this area, as well as gathering information in production countries, and we are compelled to strongly refute the self-congratulatory statements made in the report.
Bravo workers forced to take partial payments from Zara, Mango, Next by Mirjam van Heugten — last modified 04-09-2018 08:33
Clean Clothes Campaign sends our solidarity to the Bravo workers, who have showed remarkable bravery and demonstrated an unwaivering commitment to the principles of fairness and justice. Following a period of sustained pressure from the brands involved, 140 Turkish garment workers have accepted partial payments towards the debt owed to them when the Bravo factory – which produced clothing for Zara, Mango (Inditex) and the UK brand Next – closed overnight in June 2016. Their struggle has played a vital role in highlighting an issue which affects thousands of garment workers worldwide and demonstrated the power and importance of solidarity between workers and consumers alike.
Clean Clothes Campaign calls for immediate release of Bangladesh trade unionists held on false charges by Christie Miedema — last modified 07-04-2018 21:59
The Clean Clothes Campaign is calling for the immediate release of seven trade union leaders from the Garment Workers Trade Union Centre in Bangladesh, detained last week on the basis of apparently false charges filed against them by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
UN committee implores Bangladesh to step up its game on wages, labour rights and compensation by Paul Roeland — last modified 05-04-2018 14:57
The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has this week urged the government of Bangladesh to ensure a decent wage for all workers, to revise its labour laws and to make haste with the adoption of a national employment injury scheme.
Broad convening showcases growing momentum for transparency in the garment supply chain by Christie Miedema — last modified 21-03-2018 10:50
A meeting this week of actors involved in the labour movement and garment industry showed the increasing transparency efforts in the sector. The participants shared an assessment of the need to disclose supply chain information as a means to enhance corporate accountability of companies towards workers and consumers, to improve learning and due diligence within the sector and to empower workers in these companies’ supply chains.
Public letter: H&M must stick to the living wage commitment made in 2013 by Neva Nahtigal — last modified 10-12-2018 08:59
Back in 2013 H&M made a widely publicized commitment: that workers in their supply chain would be paid a living wage by 2018. As 2018 has already begun but hundreds of thousands of workers behind H&M's products are still receiving poverty wages, Clean Clothes Campaign nudged H&M's top ranks with a public letter today. Addressing H&M's Board of Directors, CEO and Head of Sustainability, we requested specific information regarding efforts made so far be made public, and we outlined the steps H&M would have to take to act on the 2013 commitment in a meaningful way.
Clean Clothes Campaign files complaint against Adidas for breaching OECD guidelines in Indonesia by Paul Roeland — last modified 14-03-2018 10:17
Global chorus of support grows for persecuted Cambodian human rights defender Tola Moeun by Christie Miedema — last modified 13-03-2018 09:56
Over 100 organizations have now joined the call for an end to the politically motivated prosecution of Cambodian human rights defender Tola Moeun, since a letter to the Cambodian government was published last month.
Projection on Tate Modern Calling Attention to UNIQLO’s Disdain for Garment Workers by Paul Roeland — last modified 23-02-2018 13:45
The night before Uniqlo Tate Late, campaigners project a series of messages to UNIQLO CEO, Tadashi Yanai, demanding that the Japanese fast fashion chain takes responsibility for 2000 workers, collectively owed $5.5 million in unpaid wages and severance payments.
Statement on the refusal of Uniqlo to pay what is owed by Paul Roeland — last modified 22-02-2018 18:01
100 days until current Accord ends – labour signatories urge brands to sign onto 2018 Accord by Christie Miedema — last modified 22-02-2018 08:15
With 100 days until the current Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety expires, garment companies are urged to continue their involvement to create a safe and sustainable garment industry in Bangladesh and to sign its successor, the 2018 Transition Accord.
Global Unions, International Human Rights and Workers’ Rights Organizations Call for End to Politically Motivated Prosecution of Tola Moeun by Paul Roeland — last modified 19-02-2018 12:49
Four global unions and more than 30 national and international human rights and worker rights NGOs from around the world have joined together to call for an end to the politically motivated prosecution of Cambodian human rights defender Tola Moeun.
#GoTransparent campaign win: Primark publishes factory locations by Christie Miedema — last modified 09-02-2018 12:01
This week low-cost retailer Primark published an overview of its production locations, after being presented with close to 70,000 signatures on a petition calling upon the company to do so. Over the last month, activists presented Primarks in different cities with gift-wrapped golden boxes with signatures, suggesting that Primark add transparency to its new years' resolutions. Clean Clothes Campaign is delighted that Primark now has responded to this demand.
New report: false promises and restriction of movement in production for Western garment brands by Christie Miedema — last modified 26-01-2018 11:40
Female migrants employed in India’s garment factories supplying to big international brands like Benetton, C&A, GAP, H&M, Levi’s, M&S and PVH, are subject to conditions of modern slavery. In Bangalore, India’s biggest garment producing hub, young women are recruited with false promises about wages and benefits, they work in garment factories under high-pressure for low wages. Their living conditions in hostels are poor and their freedom of movement is severely restricted. Claiming to be eighteen at least, many workers look much younger.
70,000 people demand that Armani and Primark reveal where they make their clothes by Christie Miedema — last modified 25-01-2018 11:15
70,000 people call upon major garment brands and retailers Armani, Primark, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Walmart to make transparency part of their New Year’s resolutions and publicly disclose the factories that produce their clothes. Throughout January, activists will deliver golden boxes of signatures to luxury brand Armani and cost-cutter Primark in major European cities. Other targeted brands can also expect to find signatures left on their doorsteps.