On October 2, after over a year of discussions with trade union and labour rights organizations, Gap Inc. announced that it is refusing to participate in a groundbreaking fire safety program for the garment industry in Bangladesh. Instead it decided to set up a separate program, accountable to no one – least of all worker representatives.
Leading U.S. apparel brands are urging the Guatemalan government to resolve the long-pending DR-CAFTA labour complaint filed by six Guatemalan unions and the AFL-CIO four years ago.
Just over a year ago a fire at That's It Sportswear garment factory in Bangladesh caused the death of 29 workers, and injured a number of others, eleven of them seriously. Sadly, in December 2011 two more workers perished and over fifty were injured in a stampede triggered by panic after a boiler explosion at the Bangladesh factory Eurotex. There is an urgent need to establish a credible programme to address the serious safety issues that remain endemic in the readymade garment industry.
Can CSR ratings help improve labour practices in global supply chains?, a new paper published by the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) and the Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER), examines the potential of rating systems to drive improvements in supply chain labour practices. Through interviews with CSR experts, representatives from companies like Levi's, Gap and others that have been rated on supply chain labour issues, labour rights advocacy groups, and rating system developers, the paper highlights some key challenges facing rating systems and how some rating systems have tried to overcome, or at least minimize, those challenges.
At least 28 more Bangladeshi garment workers have died and dozens more were injured after a fire broke out December 14, at a factory 16 miles from the capital Dhaka. Several workers appeared to have suffocated, while others jumped to their deaths trying to escape the burning building or were trampled by their colleagues as they rushed towards the exits.
Apparel brands with production in Honduras, including adidas Group, Nike Inc. and Gap Inc., released a joint letter sent to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "calling for the restoration of democracy in Honduras" following the June 28th military coup. The brands urged "an immediate resolution to the crisis" and asked that "civil liberties, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association be fully respected."
MSN Codes Memo #22
Is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting measuring the right things? How can stakeholders assess whether a company’s business practices bear any relation to its CSR principles and objectives?
On October 28, a UK newspaper published an exposé on child labour in India, revealing that clothes bearing the GapKids label were being made by children as young as 10 years old. Gap is acting on the matter – but will its actions prevent future violations?
An October 18 letter from three major US brands addressed to senior management of the Mexican blue jean manufacturer, Grupo Navarra, verifies worker allegations that the company has been harassing, dismissing and forcing them to sign resignation letters for attempting to form an independent union.
In response to a request from MSN, six major US apparel brands that buy blue jeans from Mexican jean manufacturer Grupo Navarra are speaking out in favour of the right of workers employed at the Vaqueros Navarra factory in Tehuacan, Mexico to be represented by the union of their free choice.