Campaign Closed

This campaign is now closed. Over 1000 of you emailed Lord Wolfson, Next’s chief executive, asking him to formally recognise and engage with the trade union. 

After months of fighting for Next to formally recognise the FTZ & GSEU Trade Union within the Next Manufacturing Ltd (NML) factory, workers from the NML factory in Sri Lanka have finally secured victory! You can read the full update here.

What happened?

In January 2021, following a successful action to win back unpaid bonuses, workers at a factory owned by Next formed a new branch of the FTZ&GSEU trade union. Workers reported intimidation, threats and discrimination, but stood firm and until nearly half the workers were members.

Despite multiple requests from us and War on Want, Next did not recognise and engage with the workers’ trade union.

Next’s failure to recognise and engage with the trade union was a flagrant display of disrespect for their workers’ rights. Next fell below its own published principles for workers’ rights and they should be accountable for this.

Workers can improve conditions through collective action!

In December 2020, before the trade union branch was set up, the workers walked out over unpaid bonuses – money workers rely on as their poverty wages are not enough to survive on. As a result of this collective action, Next agreed to pay up.

Worker’s must be able to form unions in order to negotiate with their employers. It is essential in the fight for better working conditions for garment workers that Next formally recognises and engages with the workers’ union, respecting and not undermining their right to collective bargaining through a trade union they have freely chosen to join.