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Letter: Yokohama's corporate responsibility - workers rights at its supplier BMZ (Belarus)

...According to our information, Yokohama are in business relationship with BMZ (Belarusian steel plant). Yokohama buys, most likely via BMZ’s Austrian subsidiary, Belmet Handelsgesellschaft mbH, steel cord (bronzed bead wire) and other products used for the production of its tires.

As you may be aware, over the last months, workers’ rights to assemble, strike and to form independent trade unions have been severely violated at BMZ. Several of workers are victims of pressure, financial sanctions and dismissal or contract non-extension based on made up / backdated excuses. Last week, three workers were sentenced to jail sentences for their attempt to strike in August 2020. https://www.ituc-csi.org/belarus-repression-stepped-up

These facts (details can be provided upon request) are irreconcilables with ESG supply chain requirements of Yokohama. We kindly request you investigate these violations and take appropriate action to ensure that workers' rights are respected and that all fired / non extended workers and reinstated. We are looking forward to hearing from you and engaging on constructive dialogue on the above.

Note that we have also approached other tires producers working with BMZ and Michelin are already taking action to enforce their ESG standards - see https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/michelin-did-not-respond/

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