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Artikel

17 Mai 2022

Autor:
Global Labor Justice

India: Women- and Dalit-worker led union signs 'histoic' agreement with Eastman Exports & H&M to end gender-based violence and harassment

"Fact Sheet: The Dindigul Agreement to End Gender-Based Violence and Harassment", May 2022

Background: In April 2022, Indian women- and Dalit-worker led union TTCU signed a historic agreement with...Eastman Exports to end gender-based violence and harassment at Eastman factories in Dindigul, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India. TTCU, GLJ-ILRF, and AFWA also signed a legally binding agreement, subject to arbitration, with...H&M, which has an ongoing business relationship with Eastman Exports. This agreement requires H&M to support and enforce the TTCU-Eastman Exports agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, if Eastman Exports violates its commitments, H&M is obligated to impose business consequences on Eastman Exports until Eastman comes into compliance. Together, these interlocking agreements constitute the Dindigul Agreement — an “enforceable brand agreement” (EBA) in which multinational companies legally commit to labor and allies to use their supply chain relationships to support a worker- or union-led program at certain factories or worksites. ..

Scope: The Dindigul Agreement covers all workers at Natchi Apparel and Eastman Spinning Mills, in total over 5000 workers. Almost all workers at these units are women and are caste-oppressed, and the majority are Dalit...Many are 18-22 years old, and many are migrants from neighboring states who live in management-owned dormitories and do not speak the local language. The Dindigul Agreement lasts three years with the possibility of renewal.

Components to end gender-based violence and harassment: The Dindigul Agreement creates conditions for union-led collective action to end GBVH at Natchi Apparel and Eastman Spinning Mills in the following ways:

  • Enabling collective action on GBVH through AFWA Safe Circles. The Dindigul Agreement implements AFWA’s Safe Circles approach, a worker- and union-led training, 2 monitoring, and remediation program to end GBVH in fashion manufacturing...
  • Adopting global labor standards on GBVH...
  • Protections against caste and migration status based discrimination...
  • Reflecting women garment workers’ experience of GBVH...
  • Protecting the right to form and join unions...
  • Building on and strengthening India’s mandatory workplace GBVH committees...
  • A new independent grievance mechanism with business consequences...
  • Transparency and industry learning...

Governance: The Dindigul Agreement creates an Oversight Committee...composed of an independent gender and labor rights expert and representatives from TTCU, AFWA, GLJ-ILRF, Eastman, and up to two signatory fashion companies (if additional fashion companies join the Dindigul Agreement). The Oversight Committee role includes receiving any reports from the Agreement’s independent grievance mechanism...that Eastman Exports has failed to comply with the Agreement, which also triggers mandatory action from H&M under its legally binding agreement with TTCU, AFWA and GLJ-ILRF

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