January 29, 2008
Indian court cases against Dutch and Indian organisations withdrawn
Agreement reached between Clean Clothes Campaign / India Committee of the Netherlands and Indian clothing manufacturer
This is the result of an agreement which has come into place via mediation by former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers. CCC and ICN support the agreement - described in more detail in a statement issued by Lubbers - which we believe paves the way for a sustainable mechanism to solve possible future labour conflicts at G-Star supplier FFI/JKPL.
An important part of the mediation outcome is that, with the consent of all - including Indian - parties, an ombudsperson will be installed. This ombudsperson will follow up on complaints from FFI/JKPL employees. A meeting with Indian parties will be arranged in the short term, where further decisions will be taken as to the terms of reference for this ombudsperson.
A "Committee of Custodians" will serve as a sounding board for the ombudsperson and safeguard that all parties adhere to the agreement. The committee will include Lubbers and Ashok Khosla, who has previously worked for the Indian government and the United Nations. The ombudsperson will aim for solutions that are acceptable to all parties. When dealing with complaints confidentiality is crucial. The ombudsperson will regularly report on the processing of complaints.
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) have per today ceased their campaign against FFI/JKPL and G-Star and have made this clear on their websites. Previous documents regarding the case will remain available, marked with a "case closed" banner.
CCC and ICN are pleased that, if desired, employees can become union members again. The local union (GATWU) and other Indian organisations (Cividep, NTUI, Munnade) involved in the FFI case can now speak freely again. Christa de Bruin of the Clean Clothes Campaign: "We are pleased that the Indian organisations and unions can now both begin to work on good labour conditions in the factory, according to Indian law and internationally accepted ILO standards." Gerard Oonk of the India Committee of the Netherlands adds: "The withdrawal of the court cases is a victory of freedom of speech and organisation as well as common sense."
Based on the agreement between FFI/JKPL and CCC/ICN the Dutch clothing company G-Star has decided to reinstate its buying relationship with FFI/JKPL and have clothes produced there again. This involves the employment of several thousand people. CCC and ICN trust that G-Star and other possible buyers at FFI/JKPL will take up their supply chain responsibilities in good cooperation with the ombudsperson and Indian organisations.
The India Committee of the Netherlands labours on behalf of the underprivileged in India. It does so via campaigns, information and investigation.
India Committee of the Netherlands - January 30, 2008