To whom it may concern,
On 12 March 2019, a female garment worker employed at the Textport Apparels Factory in Bangalore, India, which supplies Vans, was physically abused by male supervisors and the general manager of the factory. Two hundred women workers protested against the general manager, Shashi Kumar Shetty, and the Karnataka Garment Workers Union (KOOGU) intervened, resulting in police action against him.
Despite this win for the union and workers, on 3 April 2019, KOOGU activists were beaten at the factory gate for distributing pamphlets explaining the outcome of the conciliation, where management had promised to create harassment free working conditions. The General Secretary of KOOGU fell unconscious as a result of the brutal attack.
According to your Terms of Engagement, Principle 6 emphasises the right of workers to freedom of association and collective bargaining, in particular ‘no employee shall be subject to harassment, intimidation or retaliation in their efforts to freely associate or bargain collectively’. Moreover, Principle 9 explains that workers must not be subject to ‘corporal punishment, physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.’
Consumers would like to know what you are doing to ensure Textport Apparels is following your Terms of Engagement, and what you are doing to ensure justice for your workers.
.@koogu_kgwu activists have been beaten by management for standing up against harassment towards female workers employed at Textport Apparels, supplying Vans. This goes against your Terms of Engagement. What are you doing about it? @VANS_66 @vfcorp