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Levi’s drawn into growing Madagascan dockworkers dispute after ICTSI firings

International clothing company Levi Strauss and Co. is under pressure to help end the exploitation of Madagascan dockworkers as the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) calls on the company to stop the labour rights double standard.

The union is launching a major report, Levi’s: End the Double Standard in your Supply Chain highlighting Levi’s involvement in the exploitation of Madagascan dockworkers. Actions at Levi’s stores will occur across the globe to highlight the issue starting in Sydney.

Paddy Crumlin, ITF President said the union is seeking the intervention of the global clothing company in a widening dispute with the Madagascan Government and port operator ICTSI.

“Levi’s are industry leaders in developing policies to improve workers’ rights in their factories but the same rights need to be extended to their global supply chains.

“Levi’s policies have seen improvements in working conditions for the garment workers but transport workers that deliver Levi’s jeans and other apparel to stores across the globe are being exploited and working in dangerous conditions.

“Levi’s exports through the Port of Toamasina (Tamatave), where casual dock workers often work without safety equipment, and struggle to make ends meet on their wages. 43 were fired when they came together to fight for better working conditions. The Government of Madagascar faces an International Labour Organisation (ILO) complaint over the dispute,” Mr Crumlin said.

For copies of the report and more information go to www.justicefordockworkers.org/levis

The ICTSI operated Port of Toamasina is the main gateway for $360 million worth of textile products exported to Europe, $100 million to South Africa, and $60 million to the USA. Major international brands source clothing in Madagascar – including Levi Strauss.

About ITF

ITF is the international union federation representing around 700 transport unions, and more than 4.5
million transport workers from 150 countries.

Source: International Transport Workers Federation


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