1900 workers locked out at Designer Jeans in Bangladesh

September, 10 2014 Share

Management refuses to acknowledge workers’ right to organize at the Designer Jeans factory in Bangladesh.  Please support the workers with a letter.

Over 1,200 workers at the Designer Jeans factory have signed union cards.  Management has locked out all of the factory’s 1,900 workers.

Sewing section workers. (Source: Designer Jeans)

In March, again in May and a third time in August, 2014, the Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation (BGIWF) submitted license applications to form a legal trade union at Designer Jeans.  Apparently the government intervened each time with the Ministry of Labor’s Joint Director of Labor to block issuance of the license, effectively blocking the formation of a legal union at Designer Jeans and opening the way for the company to fire all the union leaders in late August and September.

Two union leaders are imprisoned, and management has brought spurious charges against 260 workers.  According to Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity director Kalpona Akter, “The false case has been filed in order to harass the workers.”

This cannot stand!  Bangladeshi garment workers have the legal right to freedom of association, to form a union and to bargain collectively free of reprisals.  The imprisoned unionists must be released immediately.  The management of Designer Jeans must withdraw the contrived legal charges, meant to intimidate their workers; and both management and the government must respect the workers right to form a legal union.

Current labels produced at Designer Jeans include:  
- The Children’s Place (USA and Canada)
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (USA, Canada and Mexico)
- Wrangler and Lee (Worldwide, VF Corporation)
- Sainsbury’s (UK)
- New Look (UK)
- Dunnes Stores (UK, via Li & Fung)
- Lidl (Germany, owned by Schwarz Gruppe GmbH)

Please write.  Press management and the companies producing their clothing at the Designer Jeans sweatshop to take strong action to assure that these workers fundamental rights are respected.


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