POVERTY AND INTIMIDATION IN THE GATEWAY TO MADAGASCAR
In 2012, many Madagascan dock workers joined the Syndicat Général Maritime de Madagascar (SYGMMA) to fight for an end to precarious, low-paid, and unsafe working conditions at the port. These workers faced intimidation and threats to their employment, with 43 dock workers unfairly dismissed for union activity in 2012.
SYGMMA, the ITF and the ITUC are supporting these workers in their fight to improve working conditions, and to have SYGMMA recognised as the representative of these workers.
This report outlines the background to their case, and the ongoing exploitation of workers and unacceptable safety standards at the Port of Toamasina.
LEVi's: End the double standard in your supply chain
Levi’s manufactures jeans and other apparel in seven factories in Madagascar. At the Port of Toamasina, dock workers work in unsafe and dangerous conditions, and without minimum safety equipment, loading Levi’s clothing onto ships bound for the US, Europe and around the world.
Levi’s have dedicated themselves to “elevating the dignity of the people who work to bring [their] clothing to market”, and was the first multinational apparel company to establish a workplace code of conduct for their manufacturing suppliers.
But this commitment doesn’t extend to dock workers, seafarers and other transport workers in Levi’s supply chain.
ESPRIT: End the double standard in your supply chain
Esprit has dedicated itself to developing policies to improve workers’ rights in global supply chains. In 2016, they joined ACT (Action, Collaboration, Transformation), an initiative between international brands, retailers, and IndustriALL global union to push for national, industry-wide collective agreements to address the issue of living wages in textile and garment supply chains.
But this commitment doesn’t extend to dock workers, seafarers and other transport workers in Esprit’s supply chain.
Esprit garments are manufactured in Madagascan factories. At the Port of Toamasina, dock workers work in unsafe and dangerous working conditions, and without minimum safety equipment, loading Esprit’s garments onto ships bound for Asia, Europe, and Australia.