Two years after the LD garment factory in El Salvador closed unexpectedly, the 824 workers who lost their jobs are still waiting to be paid the remaining US$1.7 million they are legally owed in outstanding severance.
While a partial payment of US$600,000, was paid by Global Brands Groups (GBG), the intermediary who placed the orders with LD for Levi’s, Ralph Lauren, Walmart, and PVH, owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, workers’ and labour rights organizations’ demands for full payment of the outstanding debt have been unmet.
Two separate joint letters have been sent by international civil society organizations and global apparel and footwear brands to Cambodian Prime Minister, Samdech Hun Sen, expressing their concerns regarding recent amendments to the country’s Law on Trade Unions, which were approved by the Cambodian Senate in early December 2019.
The first letter, dated December 18, 2019, was co-signed by 36 Cambodian and international civil society organizations, including MSN, and the second by 23 global brands and multi-stakeholder organizations with an interest in Cambodia.
Five months after Montreal-based clothing manufacturer Gildan Activewear’s surprise announcement that it was closing its STAR factory in El Progreso, Honduras, the SITRASTAR union and Gildan have finally reached an agreement on compensation and other issues.
Photo: Workers Rights Consortium Sam Mokhele, General Secretary, NACTWU; Thusoana Ntlama, Program Coordinator, FIDA; May Rathakane, Deputy General Secretary, IDUL; Libakiso Matlho, National Director, WLSA; Daniel Maraisane, Deputy General Secretary, UNITE
On August 15, 2019, a number of complementary, legally binding agreements were signed to launch a pilot program aimed at eliminating sexual harassment and gender-based violence in five major garment and textile factories in the Southern African country of Lesotho.
In the final days prior to dropping the writ for the federal election, the Trudeau government published a revised mandate of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE). While making minor changes to the most highly criticized clauses, the revised mandate fails to provide the new office the investigatory powers it needs to hold Canadian mining, oil and gas, and garment companies accountable for human rights violations when conducting business abroad.
A September 2019 detailed report from the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) details how the auditing industry functions primarily to protect brand reputations while failing to improve working conditions and sometimes putting garment workers lives at risk.
On September 11, 2012, a fire ripped through the Ali Enterprises garment factory in Karachi, Pakistan, killing more than 250 workers, who were unable to escape the building because the exit doors were locked and windows barred. A new report released on the 7th anniversary of the fire warns that garment factories in Pakistan remain just as unsafe today as they were then.
News release from the Canadian Network for Corporate Accountability: Ottawa, July 11, 2019 –Today all fourteen civil society and labour union representatives of the government’s Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Body on Responsible Business Conduct Abroad (Advisory Body) tendered their resignations. The unanimous decision to resign is due the erosion of civil society and labour unions’ trust and confidence in the government’s commitment to international corporate accountability.
On April 8, the Canadian government announced the appointment of the long-awaited Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE), but failed to live up to its commitment to grant the position the necessary independence and power to investigate abuses and redress harm caused by Canadian mining, oil and gas, and garment companies operating abroad. Several human rights, union, labour, international development and faith organizations have voiced their dismay over the announcement.