|Issue No 20||02 July 1999|
Hard-Hats Only as Builders Strip for Outworkers
It wasn't pretty, but it came from the heart. Sydney builders stripped outside big-name clothing chain Jeans West to pressure it to sign a Code of Practise ending exploitation of clothing outworkers.
The members of the CFMEU building division entered the Jeans West city store and removed all clothes apart from their hardhat, a skimpy pair of locally made boxers and a cheeky grin.
Lunchtime shoppers and TV crews gathered as they flexed their hard bodies and held a banner proclaiming "I'd rather wear no clothes than be clothed with exploitation".
The action was organised by FairWear, an alliance of churches and unions, committed to ending outworker exploitation. Campaign convenor Lisa Addley says Jeans West is one of a shrinking number of Australian companies refusing to sign the code.
Jeans West claims that because all its manufacturing is done offshore, there is no point to signing. But FairWear argues that even firms importing goods have a moral responsibility to ensure they had not being made with exploited labour.
Under the Homeworkers Code of Practise, a signatory undertakes to take responsibility for the labour behind their labels, including ...
Retailers who have signed the code include: Best and Less, Big W, Brown Sugar, Coles Supermarket, Daimaru Australia, Davenport, David Jones, Dotti, Events, Fashion Fair, Gowings, Jacqui E, Jag, Jasprop, Just Jeans, Katies, K-Mart, Lowes Manhatten, Maggie T, Myer Grace Brothers, Neat'n'Trim, Najee, Pelaco, Portmans, Rockmans, Roger David, Saba, Scuttle, Sussan, Suzanne Grae, Taking Shape, The Clothing Company, Westco Jeans, Witchery, Woolworths.
They join about 75 manufactures who have signed the code, including the following retail outlets: Anthea Crawford, Brian Rochford, Carla Zampatta, Consolidated Apparel, Dara Star Fashions, Diamond Cut, GA Fashions, General Pants, Hadfom, Hot Clothing, Hot Gossip, Kenwall, King gee, LA Shirts, Lisa T-Shirts, Mont Adventure, My Garment, paddymade, Physico Clothing, Ranier, Resort Report, Review, Sheriden, SF Corporate, Sportsgirl/Sportscraft, Table Eight and Trent Nathan.
Big name manufactures who have also signed up include: Berlei, Bonds, Holeproof, Hot Tuna, House of David and Sara Lee Intimates.
And four retailers have gone all the way and signed a Deed of Co-operation with the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union. They are Australia Post, Country Road, Ken Done and Target.
FairWear encourages consumers to choose brands and retailers outlets from this list when buying clothes.
Interview: They’re Not All Bastards
The Australian Industry Group’s Roger Boland is one employer representative who believes trade unions will continue to play an important role in the economy - and society - of the future.
Unions: Always the Pay is No Good
Fair Wear's campaign for clothing industry homeworkers is changing the way we think about consuming.
History: A Refreshing Advance
Women workers organising in the NSW Rail and Tramways Department Refreshment Rooms in the 1920s.
International: MAI Back on the Agenda
After being ditched in the wake of an international cyber-protest, the World Trade Organisation is trying to salvage the MAI from the ashes.
International: Courage Against the Odds
A Cuban trade union leader urges for a 30 year blockade to be lifted, with a fundraiser to be held this Thursday.
Review: Without You I'm Nothing
British pop music doesnt come any better than Placebo.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005