fbpx
How to do a pocket-drop action

How to do a pocket-drop action

 how to do a 
 pocket drop action 

 

Pocket-drop actions are a cheap and effective way of rasing awareness about workers rights.  Think carefully about what information you want to include, this might be key information about the case, worker quotes and a link to a petition. Make sure all the information fits on a small card!

You can hand-write pocket-drops, or print them off. When you are ready, its just a case of going to the shop, and popping them into the pockets of clothes, on coathangers or in amongst folded clothes. Let us know how you get on!

TAKE ACTION

Take part in our current pocket-drop action. Matalan owes Cambodian workers  $1.4 million compensation following the sudden closure of the Violet Apparel factory in March 2021. Stealing from workers is stealing from the families that depend on their income. Together we can tell Matalan to stop stealing from families.

Matalan is robbing Cambodian families of their income

Matalan is robbing Cambodian families of their income

 MATALAN IS ROBBING CAMBODIAN FAMILIES of their income 

Matalan uses family values to sell their products but pays no attention to the families in its own supply chain. The hypocrisy is glaring. 

11th March 2022

When Ung Chanthoeun found that the factory she had worked at for 17 years had closed in July 2020 during the pandemic, it was a devastating blow. She said, “When I heard that Violet closed, I felt like I lost everything I ever thought possible. It’s hard to get money for my child’s schooling or to pay the bank, or for medical treatment when my family is sick.”

Virtually every worker has a family that depends on her income. Stealing compensation from workers is stealing from families.

Chanthoeun’s story is not unique. When the Violet Apparel factory, owned by Ramatex, closed over eighteen months ago, 1,200 workers were left without jobs.  The workers are owed $343.174 in unpaid compensation. Including damages that they are legally entitled to, this figure goes up to $1.4 million. Matalan was one of Violet Apparels biggest buyers. Both Matalan and Ramatex can afford to pay the workers what they are owed. Matalan’s operating profit increased by 371% from £7.4m to £34.8m in the third quarter of 2021 alone. Despite these profits, both companies are failing the workers who have stitched their clothes.

The compensation is critical to Cambodian garment workers, who in 2020, were only paid a basic wage of $192 per month. To put this into perspective, the Asia Floor Wage Alliance estimates the living wage in Cambodia to be $588 per month. This means that workers like Chanthoeun, had no realistic way to save for a crisis like Coronavirus, or sudden job loss due to factory closure – it was already a challenge to survive on such low wages from day to day.  The compensation owed to Ramatex workers like Chanthoeun is crucial, it is a lifeline for workers to support themselves and their families.

For years Matalan has positioned itself as a modern family brand. The brand itself says that “Matalan takes time to listen, understand and evolve to fit changing modern family needs…” However, withholding compensation from the 1,200 workers like Chanthoeun not only harms the workers, but cuts children and families off from the income they rely on.  

Many Ramatex workers are having to make difficult decisions, as they struggle to cover basic living costs. Keo Chenda, former union vice-president at Violet Apparel says, “My life at the moment is quite miserable. Back then when I had a job I made money to support my family. Now I only work as a daily wage worker, earning $1 per hour. It’s not a fulltime and regular job. My children are two and five years old. I have to pay for the bills of the children every month and my income is just not enough.”

Although the Ramatex workers are not direct employees of Matalan, the brand has a responsibility to ensure that workers in their supply chain are paid what they are owed. For decades, big brands like Matalan have adopted aggressive purchasing practices, which push wages down and incentivise the erosion of labour rights. The exploitation of workers around the world, is directly linked to how big brands buy from their suppliers. Cheap labour and poor working conditions mean that brands like Matalan can sell clothes at bargain prices, and keep their profits at the top of the supply chain.  Matalan is complicit in the sustained underpayment and exploitation of workers, now it must step in to ensure that workers receive their legal entitlements.

It is time for Matalan to put its family values into practice and make sure that Cambodian workers are paid what they are owed. As former Ramatex worker Oeun Kunthea says, “I expect Matalan to intervene and make sure I get the full compensation. With that money I can start a small business so I can support myself and my family.

TAKE ACTION

We are calling on Matalan to put their family values into action and ensure that Ramatex pays the Violet Apparel workers full compensation without delay. 

 

Another World

Another World

Another World

Meet Mei Ling, a garment worker and trade union member in Vietnam. She is paid a living wage, gets sick pay and full holiday and maternity leave.  This is the way things should be, but it isn’t the way things are….yet.

It’s time for a reset in the fashion industry.

Covid-19 has exposed the deep inequalities of the fashion industry.  This is a critical time to campaign for a complete shift in the fashion industry, and to showcase the importance of living wages, transparency and safety at work for garment workers.

 

If you share our vision of the way things should be, share our video and join us today.

We need you — whoever you are, however much time you have — to help push garment workers’ rights worldwide.

How to steal your workers’ future

How to steal your workers’ future

How to Steal Your Workers’ Future, is a powerful portrayal of the long-term devastation that severance theft causes for garment workers and their families.

Two women speak for the first time on camera about their experiences after being laid off from factories they were once dependent on.

This is urgent.

Systemic change is possible. Unions and labour rights organisations are calling upon brands to pay into a fund to ensure garment workers who lose their jobs en masse are never again left penniless as victims of severance theft.

Take action and together let’s end impunity for brands. Your voice can make a difference.

WIN: Brands and worker unions agree new binding worker safety agreement

WIN: Brands and worker unions agree new binding worker safety agreement

On the 25th August 2021, apparel brands and labour unions announced agreement on a new International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry, thereby preserving, extending, and expanding the model pioneered by the Bangladesh Accord for protecting worker safety.

This new agreement comes after months of campaigning, and is a huge win for workers unions and garment workers. 

The non-governmental organisation signatories (known as witness signatories) to the Bangladesh Accord – Clean Clothes Campaign, Worker Rights Consortium, Maquila Solidarity Network, and Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum – issued the following statement:

We welcome, and look forward to signing, this new international safety agreement, which maintains the vital elements of the ground-breaking model established by the Bangladesh Accord: legal enforceability of brands’ commitments, independent oversight of brand compliance, the obligation to pay prices to suppliers sufficient to support safe workplaces, and the obligation to cease doing business with any factory that refuses to operate safely.

The successful outcome of negotiations this summer will ensure that the sweeping safety gains the Accord has delivered in Bangladesh will be maintained and extended.

This model, which has saved countless lives in Bangladesh, will also now be expanded to other countries where workers’ lives remain daily at risk. Eight years since the inception of the original Accord, the new International Accord takes the important and overdue step to expand its coverage beyond Bangladesh. It is vital that this process will be taken on swiftly and unreservedly for the benefit of textile and garment workers who have called for better safety measures for many years.

Under the new agreement, the continuation of the progress on fire and building safety achieved in Bangladesh over the past eight years, and the expansion of the programme beyond Bangladesh, will be ensured through the work of the Accord Secretariat, a fully independent oversight body with the authority to verify and enforce brand compliance. Importantly, only brands that are willing to sign the new enforceable agreement will be able to avail themselves of inspections and other services in Bangladesh, ensuring a level playing field without double standards.

Every responsible apparel and textile brand – every brand that places any value on the lives of the workers who sew its clothes – will sign this new agreement. It is especially important that brands and retailers that failed to sign the original Accord sign this one. These brands have consciously chosen to risk the lives of the workers in their contract factories; their recklessness must now end.

We congratulate the hundreds of trade unions, civil society organisations, parliamentarians, and governments around the world that have advocated this year for the continuation of the Accord. Their efforts were instrumental in getting this good outcome. We must now turn our attention to ensuring that every brand that sources clothing from high-risk countries, in South Asia and beyond, signs the new International Safety Accord.

Ineke Zeldenrust, International Coordinator at Clean Clothes Campaign, said: “This agreement will begin the long-awaited expansion of this model that holds brands legally accountable to other countries where workers’ lives continue to be at risk. In many of these countries, unions and labour rights organisations have been asking for effective action in the field of workplace safety for years. We are happy this agreement will now become truly international and look forward to it being expanded soon to the countries where the need is highest and the demand is greatest.”

Scott Nova, Executive Director of the Worker Rights Consortium said: “Garment workers in Bangladesh used to die in the dozens and hundreds making t-shirts and sweaters for the world’s leading apparel brands. The Accord put an end to that horror. Provided enough brands sign, this new agreement will ensure it never returns.”