Call on G-Star to Ensure a Fair Deal for FFI Workers
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 11:21
On December 1, an Indian court ordered the arrest of human rights activists from the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), as well as the director of Internet service provider Antenna.

The activists and the internet provider are the targets of legal harassment by G-Star supplier Fibres and Fabrics International Pvt. Ltd. (FFI) and its subsidiary Jeans Knit Pvt. Ltd. (JKPL) in retaliation for disseminating information about labour rights violations.

On December 6, G-Star, the principal client of FFI/JKPL, finally joined other brands in severing its business relationship with FFI/JKPL. While this is a positive step in the right direction, G-Star must now make good on its promise of ethical treatment of workers by developing a responsible exit strategy that makes the employment of FFI/JKPL employees its top priority. While finishing their current orders, G-Star should also make it clear to FFI/JKPL that new orders can be negotiated if, and only if, FFI/JKPL withdraws the court cases and enters into a good faith dialogue with the local organizations involved.

Please take action today and call on G-Star to:

  • Divert its FFI/JKPL orders to factories in the immediate vicinity that are willing to engage in socially responsible production and to stipulate that these factories give priority to FFI/JKPL workers as they hire additional staff.
  • Publicly convey to FFI/JKPL that compliance with G-Star's code of conduct requires freedom of association, which includes the right of unions and labour rights organizations to speak about labour conditions and the freedom to organize workers and perform union duties.
  • Publicly affirm that suing unions or labour rights organizations for circulating information on labour rights' violations, thereby restraining their right to freedom of speech and to organize workers, is incompatible with their expectations of their suppliers' respect for freedom of association.
  • Finally, G-Star should make it clear to FFI/JKPL that new orders can be negotiated if, and only if, FFI/JKPL withdraws the court cases and enters into a good faith dialogue with the local organizations involved.

Sample Letter to G-Star

Dear Mr. Van Tilburg,

I am pleased that G-Star has announced its intention to sever its business relationship with the Indian manufacturer Fibres and Fabrics International (FFI) and its subsidiary Jeans Knits Pvt. Ltd (JKPL). I am writing today to ask that you ensure that the workers at FFI/JKPL do not suffer additional harm as a result of the manufacturer's irresponsible and harmful behavior.

G-Star must now make good on its promise of ethical treatment of workers by developing a responsible exit strategy that makes the employment of FFI/JKPL employees its top priority. This can be achieved by diverting FFI/JKPL orders to factories in the immediate vicinity that are willing to engage in socially responsible production and give priority hiring to FFI/JKPL workers.

By suppressing the dissemination of information about working conditions, FFI/JKPL's spurious legal case renders it fundamentally impossible to implement socially responsible sourcing policies in India. As a major brand doing business in India, G-Star should publicly and unequivocally convey that suing unions or labour rights organizations for circulating information on labour rights' violations, thereby restraining their right to freedom of speech and to organize workers, is incompatible with its expectations of suppliers' respect for freedom of association.

Finally, G-Star should make it clear to FFI/JKPL that new orders can be negotiated if, and only if, FFI/JKPL withdraws the court cases and enters into a good faith dialogue with the local organizations involved to normalize industrial relations and address outstanding labour issues.

Sincerely,

 

 
 


 
 

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