26th June, 2015

Respect labour rights

Cut & Run cannot help the workers!

Regarding the public statement released on 17th June by Fast Retailing[1], it claims that the company is looking into the reported strike in its supplier Artigas Clothing & Leatherware Factory (hereafter Artigas) and urges Lever Style, which manages Artigas, to have thorough discussion with the workers for a peaceful resolution. If the situation is not promptly solved, Fast retailing will re-assess the relationship with Lever Style such as ending the partnership. We recognize the public response made by Fast Retailing and we also agree that ensuring human rights and appropriate working conditions are of the utmost importance.

However, until now, Lever Style still rejects to have any thorough discussion with workers even after the warning from Fast Retailing. Workers have also released an open letter on the 23rd urging for a fair negotiation with the company about the settlement and compensation of the factory closure. Unfortunately, Lever Style turns a deaf ear to the workers’ rational demands and suppressed the workers actions by calling police to interrupt. A female worker, aged 50, is still detained since the first day of strike on 8th June. No details about the compensation and social insurance to workers were given.

We are deeply disappointed about the insincere attitude of Lever Style. More importantly, we believe that the possible orders cutting from Fast Retailing is useless to solve the issue. Fast retailing, as one of the key buyers of Artigas, has a long term relationship with Lever Style, should have already noticed the closure of the factory and the issue of unpaid pension to workers since last December[2]. Artigas workers, who are at their retirement age, have been working for making apparel to UNIQLO.  If Fast Retailing withdrew from this issue by ending partnership with Lever Style, it is an unethical act to escape from correcting the malpractice of its supplier. Fast Retailing should intervene and remedy for its workers’ loss until the workers get full compensation.

Once again, SACOM urges Fast Retailing to:

  1. demand an immediate negotiation between workers and Lever Style;
  2. urge the factory to pay back full compensation to workers;
  3. ensure no retaliation to the strikers and
  4. intervene the case until it settles

Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour

[2] The information about the strike in December can be found here:

Contact Person: Alexandra Chan, Project Officer
Phone: +852 2392 5464