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Swiss shoe giant must take responsibility for Sri Lankan supplier

  • Dismissal instead of pay rise at former Bata supplier

11 December, 2014A year ago, almost 200 shoe workers were sacked for organizing a trade union at Bata supplier, the Palla & Co factory in Sri Lanka. 

Twelve months on,100 workers are still mobilizing to demand reinstatement with support from their FTZ&GSEU union, an IndustriALL Global Union affiliate.

Swiss-based global shoe brand Bata was the primary buyer from the Palla factory at the time of the mass sacking and union busting

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and IndustriALL are calling on Bata to act following this grave violation by their supplier.

Contrary to its corporate code of conduct, Bata pulled out completely from Palla in late 2013. The appropriate action would have been to ensure that the factory reinstated the sacked workers; recognized the union; and pay the wage increases that were due.

At the very least, Bata must ensure that the dismissed workers receive proper settlements and are removed from a blacklist of union agitators. By blacklisting the workers, Palla has made it impossible for them to find another job.

FTZ&GSEU’s president, Anton Marcus, who is also a member of IndustriALL’s global executive committee, says:

“These workers were producing for Bata and the company is ignoring its responsibility. Therefore IndustriALL and the Clean Clothes Campaign have launched the public campaign, and we hope that Bata will change its position without further delay.”

IndustriALL’s assistant general secretary, Monika Kemperle, says:

“Please, Bata, take responsibility. Take this opportunity to put things right so that these workers get compensated and their jobs back.”

For the latest on their struggle, watch this interview with Anton Marcus.

Follow IndustriALL’s social media channels next week to join the call for Bata’s intervention in this case.

Background to the violation: http://www.industriall-union.org/industriall-and-ccc-denounce-palla-shoemaker-in-sri-lanka