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Megan Rapinoe, help us get justice for Nike workers!

Megan Rapinoe, help us get justice for Nike workers!

megan rapinoe – help us get justice For nike WORKERS

Adidas workers around the world protesting

We are calling on Megan Rapinoe to use her voice as a social justice activist and a hero to so many women around the world. Help us get justice for Nike workers!

 

IWhen the US women’s football team won the World Cup in 2019 its players were also suing their employer. Fans chanted “equal pay” from the stands of the stadium as the team secured its victory. The team’s primary sponsor, Nike, released an ad celebrating the victory and supporting the players’ demands. Three years later, the women won their fight and are going into the 2023 World Cup on equal terms to men.  

The women of Violet Apparel/Ramatex have been fighting since 2020 to receive the wages and bonuses they were denied after being suddenly sacked at the height of the pandemic. These women also need Nike’s support: they need Nike to pay up or pressure their cash-rich supplier Ramatex to do so.

 

This year’s Women’s FIFA World Cup is a celebration of the achievements of womens’ football. Help us win for garment workers too. 

 

 

“Dear Nike,

We have never met. We only contributed to your wealth.

We really do not understand why Nike, an international company, which always speaks so much about its social responsibility and which makes billions of dollars in profit each year has not taken responsibility for our severance.  ”

Former Violet Apparel workers, Cambodia

Adidas workers around the world protesting

Sign to call on megan rapinoe’s support NOW

 

No Pride in Forced Labour

No Pride in Forced Labour

Last month we launched our public campaign targeting Tesco and Intertek to settle the lawsuit that over 130 migrant garment workers in Thailand have initiated against the brand and its social auditor. Here is a little update.

Why are workers in Thailand suing Tesco and Intertek?

At the end of 2022 the Guardian ran a series of stories on the VK Garment factory and the abuse workers there endured over several years. The pieces are not an easy read.

Between 2017 and 2020 hundreds of migrant garment workers in Thailand were making jeans for Tesco’s F&F brand under horrific conditions. They worked excessively long hours for illegally low pay. Their documents were confiscated, their rights were trampled, they suffered various abuses.

But the VK Garment workers story is a story of organised resistance and workers fighting back. 

When they asked for higher wages and more protections at work, the people whose labour creates Tesco’s profits were summarily dismissed. Yet instead of accepting this injustice, the VK Garment workers called on the support of their union, and together with allies here in the UK they are actually suing both Tesco, and Intertek – the social auditors who helped them avoid responsibility. This is a huge step for these workers, and the potential for the garment industry and workers everywhere should not be underestimated.

Yet we know that the legal system is slow, and workers can’t always expect that they will get justice through the courts. That is why at Labour Behind the Label we’ve been busy putting pressure on ‘Britain’s favourite forced labour supermarket’ Tesco and Intertek to settle this case and pay their workers.

How have we been supporting the VK Garment workers?

As an organisation, we exist to support workers’ struggles everywhere and to enable individuals to demand change in our capacity as people, as members of communities and workplaces, not just as consumers. We know public pressure on brands works and in this case we wanted to remind Tesco that we’re here, that we see and hear the VK Garment workers and we will do all we can to amplify their demands and help them win their fight.

Last month, we challenged Tesco CEO Ken Murphy on his company’s continued reliance on the discredited practice of social auditing that fails to protect workers time and time again. In response, we got platitudes about their complex supply chain system and their commitment to human rights. But VK Garment workers’ human rights were violated continuously in the name of Tesco’s profit margins. The role of social auditing in the garment industry is complex, and often deeply damaging. Instead of more accountability, it offers less by allowing brands to outsource control and ultimately further delay responsibility for taking action. So we won’t accept this meagre concession from Tesco and will continue working to expose Intertek’s role in this case. 

We also couldn’t stand idly by and watch Tesco promote itself as a champion of LGBTQI+ rights while continuing to undermine workers rights and protections. It seems the retailer values human rights so much, they are one of the major sponsors of London Pride.

But what about the rights of those who were putting in 90-hour weeks to finish orders? What about the LGBTQI+ garment workers suffering abuse and poverty wages in their supplier factories? There’s no parade, no floats, no grand commitments for them. 

Pride is a protest. It’s a call to action to actively defend and fight for the rights won – and the rights yet to be won, by marginalised and exploited communities. Pride is a celebration of shared struggles. And Pride ought to be a threat to corporate interests. So, with the help of our trade union friends we took our campaign to the streets of London to remind Tesco that there is No Pride in Forced Labour. You can’t care for the rights of some of your workers while exploiting others. 

We got a very warm reception not just on the trade union bloc – thank you, Unison, ASLEF, GMB and all others, but also from those who have come out to celebrate Pride and watch the parade. It reminded us how important it is to bring demands to the corporations who seek the spotlight to promote their brand through pink-washing. London Pride has a long history of engaging with labour struggles, and it’s a legacy we vow to continue, no matter how many fossil polluters, debt financiers and forced labour producers try and take advantage of it.

 

What can you do?

So, what’s next? We’ve been told that the legal case proper will get going from October onwards. This means we’ve got the summer left to really pressure Tesco and Intertek into settling. The corporate calendar may have slowed down for the holiday season but remain active on social media in calling the companies out. We will also use this vital campaign to raise more awareness around social auditing as a method of avoiding responsibility.

If you haven’t already, make sure to sign our one-click tool to send a letter to Tesco CEO and Intertek CEO and demand that they settle this case. If you have – why not forward to a friend? Sharing our social media posts, spreading the message and signing up to hear more from Labour Behind the Label is a big boost to the workers – more visibility for them means a higher chance the companies will feel the threat and settle. 

 

Boohoo – protect your workers, sign the Pakistan Accord

Boohoo – protect your workers, sign the Pakistan Accord

Tell BOOHOO TO PROTECT THEIR WORKERS AND SIGN THE PAKISTAN ACCORD

This action involves you using your social media accounts to share one of the below images and tag @boohoo to say that they must sign the Pakistan Accord and ensure their workers are safe. 

Instructions: 

  1. Choose a campaign image below, and save it to your phone
  2. Click on the button to open up a suggested tweet (you need to be logged in to Twitter),
  3. Add the image
  4. Send the tweet!

Not on twitter? Tag on instagram or facebook instead

 

What you need to do:

1. Choose an image from the ones above, then click on it to save or download (this will work differently on different devices – try right clicking on a computer, and click and hold on a phone)

2. Go to instagram or facebook and create a new post, selecting the image you downloaded from the selection above

3. Put this text into your caption:

6 months ago the Pakistan accord was set up to ensure the safety of garment workers in Pakistan. But @boohoo are still dragging their feet on signing it. I stand with Pakistan workers – @boohoo protect your workers, #SignTheAccord now!

4. Then tag the photo with these accounts:

@boohoo

@labourbehindthelabel

@cleanclothescampaign

 

 

Tesco: Pay VK Garment Workers!

Tesco: Pay VK Garment Workers!

tesco: pay vk garment workers

Adidas workers around the world protesting

For over 3 years, migrant workers who produced F&F jeans for Tesco in Thailand were trapped in forced labour conditions, working 99-hour weeks for illegally low pay. Abuse and exploitation was their daily experience while rushing to deliver Tesco’s orders.

Now, 130 VK Garment workers are taking Tesco and social auditors Intertek to court for alleged negligence and unjust enrichment. Tesco made £2.2 billion in profits in 2020, and yet refuses to pay its former workers for the injustice they endured in delivering those profits.

This lawsuit has huge potential but may take years. Take urgent action and call on Tesco to take responsibility for their wrongdoing now and pay the VK Garment workers! 

“‘What do you mean, day off or holiday? This factory never closes on festival holidays. We have one day off a month when they pay our wages.””

Hla Hla Tay, 54, former VK Garment worker

We are calling on Tesco and Intertek to urgently settle the lawsuit and pay their workers for the years of profiteering on the back of forced labour.

 

SIGN AND SHARE TO DEMAND TESCO AND INTERTEK PAY THE VK GARMENT WORKERS

Dear Ken Murphy (Tesco CEO) and Andre Lacroix (Intertek CEO),

In 2020 Tesco made £2.2 billion in profit. In the same year, 130 VK Garment workers were fired, after years of making F&F jeans for Tesco in Thailand under horrible conditions.

Their labour contributed to your financial success while they were made to work 99-hour weeks and paid illegally low wages. Social auditors for Intertek failed to fulfil their core obligation and report these abusive practices, and Tesco refused to acknowledge responsibility for their supply chain workers.

As a Tesco customer, I fully support the 130 VK Garment workers. I call on you both to do the right thing and settle the case as soon as possible. These workers deserve justice.

Yours sincerely,

%first_name% %last_name%

%%your signature%%

1,632 signatures