Demand Justice for Hey Tekstil workers

ATNC

Asian Transnational Corporations Monitoring Network

 

Mr. Raymond Or Ching Fai

Chairman and Independent Non-Executive Director

Esprit Holdings Limited

43/f Enterprise Square Three

39 Wang Chiu Road

Kowloon Bay

Kowloon, Hong Kong

 

Mr. Victor Fung Kwok King

Group Non-executive Chairman

Li & Fung Limited

11/F, Li Fung Tower

888 Cheung Sha Wan Road

Hong Kong

 

2nd November 2012

 

Dear Mr. Or and Mr. Fung,

 

Re: Demand Justice for Hey Tekstil workers

 

For over eight months workers from the Hey Tekstil factory in Turkey have been staging a picket line in front of Li & Fung’s Istanbul hub office. For over eight months Esprit and Li & Fung, the primary clients of Hey Tekstil, has failed to respond to the workers demands of overdue wages, severance, and notification payments. The Asian Transnational Corporations Monitoring Network is outraged by the irresponsible behavior of your companies, and hereby demands that Esprit and Li & Fung compensate the workers immediately.

The conflict began in February 2012 when the last 420 of 3000 workers from the Turkish apparel company Hey Tekstil Sanayi ve Ticaret L.Ş. were fired from the company’s Istanbul factory without notice. The workers did not receive their last three months of wages, nor were they paid severance and notification payment. Collectively the workers are owed at least 4.7 million euros. At the time of the closure of the factory, 80-90% of the clothes made at Hey Tekstil were for Esprit, sourced through its agent Li & Fung.

Since then the dismissed workers have embarked on a long struggle for justice, picketing in front of their factory and Li & Fung. However, Esprit and Li & Fung responded by making a humiliating offer of “legal assistance” to workers who they know already have taken legal action themselves. Esprit was even adamant in refusing to assume “third party debts”. However, workers rights are not just debts that can be crossed out on paper; these are workers whose toils have built your brand and gave you your profits, whose hands have sewn your garments that are on display now in your shops, all without getting due remuneration.  It is only fair that Esprit and Li & Fung should give the workers back their minuscule wages when these garments are sold for huge profits. Moreover, your companies have failed to act when Hey Tekstil first started violating the law and your own codes of conduct, a clear failure in your due diligence and in your obligation to mediate.

The workers can wait no longer. After eight months of fighting for their dignity Hey Tekstil workers are unable to send their children to school or buy daily medications. As companies who claim to be socially responsible, Esprit and Li & Fung must not allow the situation to deteriorate any further. We demand Esprit and Li & Fung to:

–       Immediately negotiate with the workers in good faith;

–       Compensate the workers for overdue wages, severance, and notification payments according to legal standard;

–       Review the enforcement of your codes of conduct throughout your supply chain, and make available the compliance information for public scrutiny.

We sincerely look forward to your written reply. Should there be any enquiries, please contact the spokesperson of the ATNC Monitoring Network, Ms Suki CHUNG (Tel: 28159003; email: coordinator@atnc.asia)

Thank you for your kind attention.

Yours sincerely,

Asian Transnational Corporations Monitoring Network

 

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