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30 Mar 2020

Tunisia: Following union and civil society pressure, international e-commerce company Cimpress/ Vistaprint reverses its decision to dismiss 80 probationary workers amid the sanitary crisis

National newspapers, unions activists and social media campaigners have reported that Dutch digital e-commerce sompany Vistaprint and its Irish  mass customization mother company Cimpress  have taken the decision to dismiss, on the 18th March 2020, 80 probationary workers in the midst of growing general concerns over coronavirus induced job insecurity and amplified workers’ vulnerability in Tunisia.

In a statement issued  by the General Trade Union in Tunisia ( UGTT) on the 19th of March 2020 and available in French below, UGTT has strongly condemned this decision. The union recalled that Cimpress/Vistaprint, operating in Tunisia since 2009 has largely benefitted from the several tax exemptions schemes Tunisia offers to international companies and that while many international companies have taken steps to support and protect  Tunisian workers in light of the pandemic,Vistaprint/ Cimpress chose to dismiss workers as an economic solution to managing the current sanitary crisis. 

The union called on the Cimpress/ Vistaprint to:

  1. Resume the employment of all dismissed workers 

  2. Apply and compile with national legislations 

  3. Partake and support, similar to other companies, the national efforts to overcome the sanitary crisis

  4. Follow the measures dictated by the ministry of health  in protecting the health of employees at work

On the 19th of March, the business and human rights resource centre invited Vistaprint and/ or its parent company Cimpress to respond to these allegations. 

The company responded to the allegations explaining that while  the company was within its rights  to take these measures, they go against the culture we’ve worked so hard to build in Tunis.  Cimpress has  therefore decided to  reverse its decision and  offered all affected team members the opportunity to return to their roles at Vistaprint effective immediately.

The full response of the company can be found in English below.