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Clean Clothes Campaign summoned to Indian court

15
Jun '07
Following their efforts to draw attention to rights violations at an Indian garment factory, the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) have been summoned to appear in a Bangalore court on June 25, 2007.

The Dutch organizations, who have been raising awareness of violations at international jeans suppliers Fibres and Fabrics International and its 100% subsidiary Jeans Knit Pvt Ltd (FFI/JKPL), are accused of cyber crime, acts of racist and xenophobic nature and criminal defamation.

This is the first time that a factory has filed suit against the CCC and the ICN for publishing information on working conditions in the garment industry on their respective websites. Interviews with workers from the factories carried out in November 2005 and March 2006 revealed serious labour rights' violations, including high workload, forced overwork, physical and psychological abuse, non-payment of overtime, and the non-issuance of identity cards and contracts. These claims were backed up by a fact-finding mission of 7 human rights' and women rights' organisations who completed a report in August 2006.

Despite the charges, the two organizations are continuing their support for the workers in FFI/JKPL.

FFI/JKPL filed the defamation complaint against the CCC and ICNafter having taken legal action to silence the unions and local labour support organizations advocating on behalf of the FFI/JKPL workers.

Since July 2006 the Garment and Textile Workers Union (GATWU), the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), the Civil Initiative for Peace and Development (CIVIDEP), the Women Garment Workers Front Munnade and the CCC Task Force Tamil Nadu have been under an injunction order prohibiting them from distributing information about the working conditions at FFI/JKPL inside and outside India.


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