August 6, 2020 at 8:58 am: We congratulate the union at the Huabo Times factory in Myanmar for signing an agreement with the factory management after more than two months of fighting against union discrimination.
Inditex played a key role in the negotiations between the union, factory management and brands, and were supported by Spanish union CCOO. The signed agreement means that the 26 dismissed union members will be reinstated and union demands will be met. This sets a clear precedent for the success of worker organising.
While Inditex took a leading role in negotiations, the other brands were less forthcoming, and there was a lack of transparency concerning Bestseller’s involvement in resolving the case. Bestseller has stated that it has ‘zero tolerance’ towards violations of Freedom of Association yet, given that this is a reoccurring issue in its supply chain, the brand needs to take a more proactive approach towards tackling union busting should future cases arise. Bestseller has said it will be ‘closely monitoring the implementation’ of this agreement, as will the CCC. We urge all brands to adopt clear policies to combat discriminatory dismissals and to ensure their suppliers commit to fair retrenchment and re-hiring.
The resolution of the Huabo Times case, with local union involvement at its centre, represents another important step towards establishing a robust labour movement in Myanmar.