14 union supporters, offering their jobs back on the condition that they cancel their union membership
SF Leather's union busting tactics in Izmir, Turkey over recent weeks includes sacking 14 union supporters, offering their jobs back on the condition that they cancel their union membership, demanding the local court to impound a union banner and block the union distributing material online of their action, and even filing a claim for damages against the union.
The long list of labour rights abuses all break the 'Global Sourcing Principles' of key buyer Mulberry, however UK based Mulberry has chosen to turn a blind eye, while the bags made at the Izmir plant continue to sell at well over €1,000 each.
SF Leather workers are seeking to organize in the Deriteks leather workers union of Turkey, an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union.
Write to the managements of SF Leather and Mulberry to call for both companies to live up to their corporate responsibility and allow this group of workers a voice in the Izmir factory.
Workers at SF Leather factory, began organizing a union with Deriteks Sendika at the beginning of 2015. SF Leather, owned by Frederic Giraud, is a supplier of leather purses, 90% of its production is for Mulberry brand. On March 25th the SF Leather factory management began to fire workers because of their union membership.
It is clear that this was a union busting activity because the employer clearly stated in April that he would return 11 of the workers back to work but only if they resigned their union membership, which the workers refused. Mulberry, after Deriteks reached out to them asking them to follow their own “Global Sourcing Principles” and require SF Leather to allow freedom of association, hired an independent auditing firm, Re-Assurance, to do an investigation. The firm did not attempt to meet with the dismissed workers and instead only met with workers inside of the factory.
Mulberry continued for months to rely on the firm’s “investigation” as an excuse to delay action when unions and labour rights organizations reached out to them to follow the law. SF Leather management then retaliated by pressing charges against the 14 workers it dismissed as well as Deriteks union, claiming they are leaking trade secrets by directly asking Mulberry to live up to its labour code standards.
Mulberry then used this court case to further delay any action and is now responding to letters by saying there is an “ongoing legal case” as an excuse not to take any action to ensure that its supplier follows its own “Global Sourcing Principles” as well as Turkish and International laws.
Violations of Labour Law/International Standards:
1.ILO convention number 87 (Freedom of Association)
2.Collective Labor Relations Act 6356 (Guarantee of Freedom of Trade Union)
3.Turkish Penal Code 5237, Article 118 (Prevention of Use of Trade Union Rights)
4.Mulberry’s “Global Sourcing Principles”, Code of Conduct Article 3 (Right of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining)
1.Rehire the 14 illegally dismissed workers with no anti-union conditions on their reinstatement
2.Stop all union busting activity and allow workers to become union members with no fear of retaliation
3.Enter into free and fair collective bargaining negotiations with Deriteks Sendika as the representative of the workers