Topy Top workers protesting against the company last year.

Hugo Boss must address rights abuses at Peruvian supplier

16.06.2015

IndustriALL Global Union is calling on luxury clothing brand, Hugo Boss, to urgently intervene at its Peruvian textile supplier Topy Top over allegations of worker rights violations and union busting. 

In a letter to Hugo Boss CEO, Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, IndustriALL urges the multinational to ensure that Topy Top reinstates sacked unionists and stops terminating the short-term contracts of unionized employees.

The use of export sector short-term contracts by Peruvian textile and garment suppliers not only violates international labour standards and Hugo Boss’s own code of conduct, it also makes it impossible for workers to organize and defend their rights.

IndustriALL’s general secretary, Jyrki Raina, writes:

“Topy Top is well known to us, as we have repeatedly dealt with violations at this company. It is a good example of the problems that arise from the abusive use of short-term contracts.”

The letter comes as Hugo Boss plans to meet Topy Top management at the brand’s German headquarters.

In April, during negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement, Topy Top dismissed SINTOTTSA union secretary Huber Amed Albujar, affiliated to IndustriALL through the National Federation of Textile Workers of Peru (FNTTP).

The company also dismissed 12 union members, five of whom enjoy immunity from dismissal.

Albujar has been an outspoken critic of the exploitation of short-term contracts and a staunch defender of worker rights at the company. It is not the first time Topy Top has tried to get rid of him.

He is now facing four alleged offences all of which he denies.

IndustriALL Global Union, together with its affiliate FNTTP, is demanding that Hugo Boss ensures:

  • Reinstatement of the 12 union affiliates, including the five workers under judicial protection
  • Reinstatement of union leader Huber Amed Albujar
  • Topy Top explores all alternative measures prior to conducting layoffs in response to economic needs
  • Full support for the respect of freedom of association at Topy Top’s plants, and that the short-term contracts of unionized employees are not terminated.

In addition, FNTTP and its member unions have a long-standing demand to see short-term contracts made permanent, in accordance with Hugo Boss’s own code of conduct.