Photo: Mulberry S/S 2015 Campaign

In March 2015, SF Leather, a factory located in Izmir (Turkey) which is a supplier of British luxury brand Mulberry, fired 14 workers who joined IndustriALL Global Union’s affiliate Deriteks and claimed for better wages.

SF Leather sued the workers and Deriteks, accusing them of damaging its “commercial interests” with their strategies and protests to reinstate the workers. In addition, SF Leather said that it would reinstate those workers only if they withdrew from the trade union.

According to IndustriALL Global Union Assistant General Secretary Kemal Özkan:

The case could set a dangerous precedent in Turkey, with SF Leather trying to bypass the labor law, and bust the union with the law of commerce and code of obligations. This commercial law overrides the labour law, which would effectively remove the already weak legal protections of workers’ rights in Turkey.[i]

Deriteks asked Mulberry to intervene in order to solve the dispute and safeguard the labour rights of the Turkish workers.

According to article 3 of Mulberry’s Global Sourcing Principles:

 “Suppliers should respect the rights of employees to join or form an association of their choosing (such as workers council, union, or workers association). Where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted by law, the employer should facilitate, and not hinder, the development of parallel means for independent and free association and bargaining. Representatives must not be discriminated against and have access to carry out their representative function in the workplace.”[ii]

Those rights of freedom of association and employee representation were violated by Mulberry’s supplier SF Leather.

The British company states that it works “to a simple principle: that it will make a positive difference to its people”.

So let’s urge Mulberry to respect its own Global Sourcing Principles. Join Global Action for justice at Mulberry’s supplier in Turkey:

http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=2798

 

[i] IndustriAll Global Union. “Mulberry: €1,000 handbags made with worker abuse”: http://www.industriall-union.org/mulberry-eu1000-handbags-made-with-worker-abuse