Within global garment supply chains, the capital flows from investors back and forth between brands, to agents, to factory owners and management, crossing borders on its way, and never reaching the people working in the factories. Factory workers who manage to organise can sometimes get remedy through pressure on their factory management, but commonly pressure is needed on the brands and companies, the investors and governments in the countries where the power lies.
Brands have long since the boom of the industry outsourced their production, and with it their legal responsibility for the people making their clothes. When violations occur, they claim innocence, and sometimes provide a fund, or partly remedy. However, human rights can’t be divided, and can only exist in connection to each other. Clean Clothes Campaign follows international standards such as the United Nations Guiding Principles and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance on Garments stating that brands have the responsibility to make sure that all labour rights are respected and full remedy is provided when these rights are violated. Even though the importance of supply chain responsibility has been widely accepted, this hasn’t materialised in legal responsibility for brands and companies. Until people buying clothes make decent labour conditions and issue for brands, brands will shirk their responsibilities and workers will pay the cost.
What we do
The Clean Clothes Campaign network started with a group of women workers in the Philippines fighting to get their wages. A group of women in The Netherlands organised in solidarity and their collective actions (in front of C&A shops and in the Philippines) led to a victory for the women. Since those actions in 1989, we have collectively taken up factory-level labour violations on request of workers in dozens of cases across Central America and Mexico, Asia, and Southern Africa. This results in supporting workers and their organisations in more effectively engaging with brands and employers to secure remedies to labour rights violations as well as securing space for workers to safely organise and thereby strengthening workers’ collective power.
Our global alliance extends to more than 200 non-government organisations and trade unions in 40 countries with special interest for women’s rights, consumer advocacy and poverty reduction. It connects the energy, knowledge, care and power of people as citizens, workers, consumers and activists to make sure that all workers can exercise their human rights.
‘In a global economy it is not only investment and profits that travel across geographical boundaries, but also worker solidarity,’ says Sri Lankan FTZ&GSEU General Secretary Anton Marcus
Since 1989, the Clean Clothes Campaign network has been growing to represent groups and organisations in over 40 countries. National coalitions strive to have a representation of unions and various other groups, connecting people, policies and actions throughout sectors. By creating regional coalitions, this knowledge and leverage is expanded across regions. This strategy makes it possible to organise activists, lobbyists and consumers around a case of violations in a certain country, and link them to the workers organising in their own location. By connecting the dots of the global supply chain, we put pressure on where the power and money lies.
Latest news on direct solidarity
Results: 5 Items
January 14, 2019
Repression of worker protests in Bangladesh shows the government’s lack of respect for essential freedoms
Thousands of workers in Bangladesh have taken the streets in protest since the recent implementation of the wage revision in the garment sector. When police in Dhaka started firing rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd, one worker was killed and many others were injured.
January 28, 2019
This week labour activists and trade unionists around the world are expressing their solidarity with garment workers in Bangladesh through demonstrations in front of Bangladeshi embassies and consulates in cities around the world.
March 18, 2019
Hundreds of women workers part of longest running strike in the Katunayake Investment Promotion Zone
Workers from workwear manufacturing company ATG Ceylon Pvt Ltd. in Sri Lanka have been subject to a range of human rights abuses breaching both Sri Lankan and international labour laws and conventions.
April 2, 2019
Former Uniqlo garment workers attend flagship store opening in Denmark to highlight Uniqlo’s wage-theft
Between 2 and 7 April, two Indonesian garment factory workers, who made Uniqlo clothing for years, will be in Copenhagen as part of the global PayUp Uniqlo campaign.