Conditions improved

published 03-10-2013 14:16, last modified 10-10-2013 14:12
After filing a complaint about working conditions and contract issues at the Orion Conmerx factory in Gurgaon, most of the 41 workers who signed the complaint were either laid off or forced to resign. After follow-up action by the Worker Rights Consortium and the Clean Clothes Campaign, contract terms have been improved.

Workers at the Orion Conmerx factory were fired after they complained about working conditions, overtime and contract issues. The Clean Clothes Campaign followed up together with the Worker Rights Consortium and others. The brands H&M, Timberland and Inditex, who were buying from the Orion Conmerx factory, were approached about the situation.

As a result, the factory agreed to

  • change the short term contracts to indefinite duration contracts by the end of 2012
  • provide compensation to the workers who were fired because they stood up for their rights
  • sign and read out a statement on Freedom of Association to all workers
  • pay workers their due overtime payments through an educational fund

The Clean Clothes Campaign is currently following up on the case by reintroducing a buyer to the factory, now that the labour rights violations have been addressed.

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.