Monday, February 16, 2009

The Clean Clothes Campaign and the Better Bargain Campaign

As the global crisis disproportionately hits the poorer classes even in the richer countries let alone the poor ones, and even more disproportionately hits the poorer countries, we should be doing all we can to support them.

I don't know Gerard Oonk of the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), but we have been in e-mail contact for some while.

He sends me the following. I am doing what I can. Perhaps you might like to consider doing so too?:

Giant global discount retailers like Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Carrefour, and Walmart try to lure consumers into their shops with low, low prices. A man´s suit for £25 at Tesco, a woman´s dress for $9 at Walmart, or jeans for EUR8 at Carrefour. How do they do it?

If you´re a worker in the workshops or factories that supply these stores, you´ll have some of the answers - poverty wages, forced or unpaid overtime, no work contract, harsh repression of any attempts to organize to improve working conditions. And it is most likely you are a woman because 80% of the workers are.

The Clean Clothes Campaign, of which the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) is an active member, believes these workers deserve a better bargain. Read the CCC's new research on five top global retailers and learn more about how you can get involved in the Better Bargain campaign.

See: and you will find the report ''Cashing In'' (there is also a French version and a summary) on how workers in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Thailand are being treated in the supply chain of the giant retailers and what should be done about it.

Another recent case of ''disposable jobs'' is the plight of the contract workers at Unilever Lipton in Pakistan who are campaigning for permanent job status through their IUF- affiliated ''National Federation of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Workers' of Pakistan''. With 22 permanent and 723 contract workers in Unilever's Khanewal factory, Unilever is a champion of ''impoverishing of labour''. Contract workers earm a third of the salary of a regular workers and don't have social security, medical benefits or pension. The majority of them have worked for more than ten years for Unilever. Read more about this on:

You can support the workers in Unilever Lipton by sending a mail to Unilever's CEO Paul Polman. Have a look here: Sphere: Related Content

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