Intimidation of unionised workers

published 03-10-2013 14:20, last modified 10-10-2013 14:14
Since May 2012, workers at SC Enterprises making garments for Italian brand Original Marines have faced ongoing intimidation for their activities with Kasbi trade union. SC Enterprises is an Indonesian supplier located in Central Java. Outwardly a green, “modern environmentally-friendly garment factory”, conditions within the factory are grim, with low wages, long working hours and forced unpaid overtime.

When PT SCE workers tried to form an independent union, Kasbi, inside the factory, 42 workers were illegally dismissed, most of them union members. Organising efforts started so that workers could address serious violations of their rights, including

Outside the factory
  • threats of dismissal and intimidation directed at workers who seek to unionise;

  • exploitative and illegal use of short-term contracts and un-contracted workers;

  • unpaid wages and pay cuts;

  • forced overtime as well as unpaid and under-paid overtime;

  • discriminative policies and regulations towards women, such as sacking pregnant workers.

Despite many efforts to seek a positive resolution within the factory and involve the local labour authorities, only small changes occurred in the factory and union members have been physically threatened by armed thugs. The 42 workers are at the time of writing not reinstated.

In July 2012 the Clean Clothes Campaign, the Italian union Filcams Cgil and Oxfam contacted the Italian brand Original Marines and called on them to ensure that its supplier acts in accordance with both local laws and international standards and conventions for businesses and human rights and urged them to support the FOA protocol already signed by several brands, suppliers and unions. CCC has been working together closely with the workers, and together with Filcams Cgil also initiated an online public appeal about the case.

See also:

call on Original Marines - Stop intimidation of union members

Supplier of Original Marines target s CCC supporters instead of improving working conditions

Outline of trade union rights violations at PT SC Enterprises


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.