TURKEY: Labour groups target Esprit and Li & Fung
Fashion retailer Esprit and its sourcing agent Li & Fung have been targeted by protesters in Hong Kong, Turkey and Thailand in a series of demonstrations accusing them of failing to pay wages and severance pay to workers at a factory in Istanbul.
Around 2,000 workers at Hey Tekstil Sanayi ve Ticaret were fired from the company when it shut down without notice in February this year, labour groups say. Salaries had not been paid since November 2011, and EUR4.7m in overdue wages, severance, and notification payments are still owed.
Li & Fung was sourcing almost all of the production at Hey Tekstil for Esprit, according to the Clean Clothes Campaign.
As well as protests in Istanbul, Chang Mai and Hong Kong, a letter has been sent to Jose Martinez, CEO of Esprit from 23 unions and women's organisations in Central and North America, Asia and Europe, calling on the company to negotiate a serious deal with the Hey Tekstil workers.
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