US retailer JC Penney has stopped using Oak Harbor Freight Lines to ship its merchandise in the western US, according to US union Teamsters.

It follows a report by the International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF), which claimed Oak Harbor has violated international labour rights standards.

Oak Harbor is accused by the IRLF report of "intentionally provoked a strike by proposing changes to employees' wages, benefits and working conditions that would be unacceptable to the union and its members during collective bargaining."

An IRLF panel also said that African-American and female employees working for a labour contracting firm hired by Oak Harbor had allegedly suffered discrimination in their work
assignments.

Oak Harbor, a trucking firm headquartered in Auburn, Washington, is one of the largest regional freight carriers in the north west US.

The company was not available to immediately comment when contacted by just-style today (10 December).

According to Teamsters' statement, retailers including Urban Outfitters and Gap Inc have also dropped the shipper.

Tyson Johnson, vice president and freight division director of Teamsters International, said: "We are pleased that JC Penney has made the socially responsible decision to cease working with a company that has so blatantly violated workers' rights.

"We will continue to take our message to Oak Harbor's customers and bankers until they stop these abuses."