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Building workers’ power along the Hop Lun Group supply chain

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19 June, 2023Union leaders and workers from Hop Lun production facilities in Bangladesh and Indonesia met in Semarang city, Indonesia on 10 June, committing to building solidarity and improving industrial relations throughout the supply chain.

Hop Lun, who manufactures lingerie and swimwear, employs close to 30,000 people in twelve manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Workers in Hop Lun facilities in Bangladesh are organized under IndustriALL affiliate Sommilito Garment Sramik Federation (SGSF) and have negotiated collective bargaining agreements. Workers at Indonesian facilities are organized under IndustriALL affiliate GARTEKS SBSI, on their way to negotiate CBAs by increasing membership.

Organizing was central when the federation and union level leaders from the two countries met in Indonesia last week for a Trade union leaders Information exchange. Participants from Bangladesh shared their long struggle of establishing their unions and successful negotiations of two CBAs in the last four years.

Workers and union leaders from the two countries formed the Hop Lun trade union network and discussed the importance of a network to build cross-border union solidarity to attain a common set of labour standards throughout the supply chain.

Discussions also included wages, contract types, maternity leave, union recognition and negotiations, occupational safety and health, and supply chain industrial relations.

IndustriALL sector director Christina Hajagos-Clausen said:

“Trade union networks are key to building worker power across the supply chain. Exchanging information between workers is an important step in increasing awareness on organizing and collective bargaining. We will call on Hop Lun to recognize our new trade union network.”

Members of the newly formed network agreed to improve communication through national contact persons and IndustriALL project coordinators from the two countries, and committed to build solidarity among workers.

Action plans on organizing and increasing membership of the union in Indonesia were agreed upon, as were plans to engage with the Hop Lun head office for negotiations on a global framework agreement with the help of IndustriALL.