Six international apparel companies have sent an open letter to the President of Peru supporting a repeal of three articles of a decades-old law allowing employers in the garment and textile export sector to hire workers on consecutive short-term employment contracts, thereby denying them job security, seniority rights and other benefits, access to health and pension coverage, and their right to organize and bargain collectively.
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.
One of the tragic lessons from the disastrous accident at the Eurotex factory, in Dhaka, Bangladesh in December 2011, was that some international brands that had been producing clothing in the factory already knew there were serious safety hazards. Rather than fix the problems, however, they quietly left the factory, leaving workers to face those hazards alone.
The Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) is pleased to announce that a new agreement has been reached between Bangladeshi and international labour rights groups and trade unions and US-based apparel company PVH (owner of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein brands) to improve safety at their supplier factories in Bangladesh. The agreement has the potential to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers currently at risk.
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 MSN's request, seven major US apparel companies have added their names to a joint letter to the Philippine government, raising concerns about the alleged violent attacks on workers and human rights promoters in the Cavite Export Processing Zone. Read the letter here.