C&A rejects allegations of supply chain labour rights violations
[A] spokesperson for C&A said the group “firmly rejects the accusations” made against it.
It said in 2018 a local activist NGO, Action Labour Rights (ALR), tried to start a factory union at the supplier’s facility. It insists ALR is neither a union nor a worker representative organisation.
“When we were made aware of the SOMO and CCC accusations two years ago, we immediately started an investigation. Our investigation has neither shown a violation of the right of Freedom of Association nor did we find any evidence of activities undertaken by the factory management to prevent the formation of a trade union.
“We have shared all findings transparently with SOMO and CCC.
“Additionally, in early February 2020, we engaged with SMART Myanmar, which is one of the most reputable Worker Right Organisations in Myanmar, funded by the European Union, to conduct an independent investigation.
“SMART Myanmar did not find any evidence that would have confirmed the allegations made by SOMO and CCC. No evidence was found that would have confirmed incorrect workers dismissals. The SMART investigation included individual interviews with the affected workers.
“This report was also transparently shared with SOMO and CCC.”
C&A added it explained to SOMO and CCC that it is “happy to talk to ALR to discuss all topics related to human and labour rights in Myanmar.”
It added: “ALR is however not an organisation that should take part in negotiations with factories and talk on behalf of factory workers. This role can only be taken by an elected trade union representative.
“The overall process shows that we take our supply chain responsibility very seriously. We have a solid due diligence process in place. Our Supplier Code of Conduct and Employee Code of Ethics are guided by best practice on human rights, including the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.”