Workwear workers dismissed

published 03-10-2013 14:16, last modified 10-10-2013 14:11
In 2005, 518 workers, almost all of them women, took part in a strike at the Sri Lankan GP Garments factory demanding their festival bonus as promised by the factory management. They were subsequently dismissed without the correct procedures being followed. Thirty-seven of them are facing legal procedures, with a high court verdict still pending.

In 2012, the Clean Clothes Campaign together with the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employment Union (FTZ & GSEU) engaged with the owner of GP Garments and its main buyer Dress Confect to reinstate and compensate the workers, and drop the legal cases. The owner continued to fail to recognise that FTZ & GSEU represents the workers and therefore has not entered into good faith negotiations. The case is still ongoing.

What do companies and Multi Stakeholder Initiaves think of the CCC? *

“CCC has been one of the defining influences on code of conduct over the last 10 years. Codes of conduct have moved from being a fringe idea to a central plank of single CSR policy in the industry. A large part of that is because CCC internationally have been a champion for the role of brands taking action... and have placed and kept the issue in the public domain.”

“CCC have had impact by raising our awareness, triggering the development of our code of conduct and our subsequent mechanisms on monitoring, disclosure practises, decision to join MSI, training and follow-up.”

“If there is a critical situation in a factory that we have not become aware of ourselves, we do of course react immediately, if this is brought to our attention by CCC.”

“All activities raise awareness but do not change policies, urgent appeals have most impact to improve or change the way of working with a supplier or improve a situation if needed.”

* Quotes from internal report that assesses how Clean Clothes Campaign's labour rights corporate accountability work, including the Urgent Appeal system, has impacted corporate behavior between 1994 and 2010.

Pins Brown, 2010. Impact Assessment of Corporate Accountability Activities of Clean Clothes Campaign. Unpublished report on file.