The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is pressuring clothing company Levi Strauss and Co. over its treatment of Madagascan dockworkers, as it looks to escalate a dispute involving the Port of Toasmasina (Tamatave).
The union has launched a report about, what it describes as Levi’s “involvement in the exploitation” of the dockworkers, while it plans to take action at stores worldwide to highlight the issue.
The ITF previously filed an International Labour Organisation (ILO) complaint against the Madagascan government over the firing of 43 dockworkers for joining a union.
Paddy Crumlin, ITF president, said that the union is seeking the intervention of the global clothing company, which exports goods through the port operated by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI).
Crumlin stated: “Levi’s are industry leaders in developing policies to improve workers’ rights in their factories but the same rights need to be extended to their global supply chains.
“Levi’s policies have seen improvements in working conditions for the garment workers but transport workers that deliver Levi’s jeans and other apparel to stores across the globe are being exploited and working in dangerous conditions.”
According to Crumlin, casual dockworkers at the Port of Toasmasina “often work without safety equipment.”
The port is the main gateway for US$360m worth of textile products exported to Europe, US$100m to South Africa, and US$60m to the USA.