Garment workers at Hugo Boss’s factory in Izmir, Turkey face severe reprisals, punishment, and even dismissals for trying to join a union. They just want a living wage and a voice in the company, but their bosses are having none of it.
We have a unique opportunity to help. Brands rarely own the factories where their garments are made — but Hugo Boss owns this one, and it’s the largest garment factory in the country. Hugo Boss HQ could improve conditions in the Izmir factory in an instant, and could even set an industry standard for labour relations in the country.
High-fashion brands like Hugo Boss can’t afford to simply ignore public pressure — especially in Europe where they aim to sell highly priced clothes to the widest audience.
Hugo Boss is advertising its spring collection to the world of fashion, and boasting record sales and earnings to investors, it even claims to uphold internationally recognised labour standards — but that’s worlds away from what the Hugo Boss factory workers in Turkey experience.
Germany’s iconic fashion label has engaged in despicable union-busting tactics, including illegally firing 20 trade union supporters between 2011 and 2014. When it was caught by the Turkish Federal Court, Hugo Boss still refused to hire back the employees. Now, in 2015, Hugo is back at it again: it just fired three more union organizers without cause.
We’ve all seen and supported the intensifying fight for better wages and the right to unionize across North America and Britain in recent years. We’ve fought to improve working conditions in garment factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Haiti. Now our partners supporting Turkish garment workers need the same level of support: and Hugo Boss is spoiling for a fight.
Thanks for everything you do,
Anne, Eoin and the rest of the SumOfUs team