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Labour Behind the Label campaign for garment workers rights worldwide.  As part of the movement for global justice, we support garment workers’ demands through strategic actions aimed at those involved in the production, marketing and consumption of clothing.  We are part of the Clean Clothes Campaign, a Europe-wide coalition working towards the same goal of improved rights and working conditions in the garment industry.

These are our working values, our ‘code of conduct’ if you like:

  • We work in a way that is consistent with how we want the world to be, not how it is.
  • We believe transformational change is needed: we won’t pursue short-term goals where this comes at the expense of achieving our long term vision.
  • We are independent from the clothing industry: we are campaigners, not consultants.
  • We always take our cue from garment workers or their representatives, above all else.
  • We try to support and draw together other organisations working in support of garment workers’ rights; we do not try to compete with them.
  • We emphasise that gender is central to the problems faced by garment workers and the solutions required.

Find out more about what we do on our website or read our latest action update.

EU_Logo-1This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Labour Behind the Label and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

4 thoughts on “About Us

  1. TAZREEN FIRE – DISNEY’S MICKEY MOUSE RESPONSE

    If it will help with your campaign, you are at liberty to use the whole or any part of the following message as you see fit.

    It may interest you to know about the automated ‘Out-of-Office’ response I received from Disney, after I wrote to them in protest about the scandal of the Tazreen Fashions fire.

    Background Information

    I refer to the web page, http://www.cleanclothes.org/urgent-actions/call-upon-tazreen-brands-to-deliver-the-goods#action.

    I sent an e-mail to the Tazreen buyers in response to the following suggestion on this web page:
    “Take action now: Send an email to the Tazreen buyers: C&A, Kik, Walmart, Li&Fung, Enyce, Edinborough Woollen Mills, Disney, Dickies and Sears/Kmart”.

    None of the named buyers of any of the companies to whom my e-mail was addressed responded to me, but I received an out-of-office message from Ms Rubbo of Disney, telling me I could contact her assistant in her absence. So I did.

    (I also visited Disney’s website and posted a copy of my e-mail in the Disney Corporate Citizenship section there, marking it for the attention of Fred H. Langhammer, a Disney Director since 2005. I have received an automated acknowledgement from Disney, so they will have seen the text of the e-mail below.)

    My E-Mail to Ms Rubbo’s Assistant at Disney

    From: Joe Marshall (joseph.james11@hotmail.co.uk)
    Sent: 27 April 2013 19:08:12
    To: Angela.Young-Klanko@disney.com (angela.young-klanko@disney.com)

    Dear Ms Young-Klanko

    I contacted Laura Rubbo at your company recently.

    I wrote to her about the very serious matter of the Tazreen Fashions fire.

    I do not think an Out-of-Office message is an appropriate response.

    Your company must be well aware of the fire and the scandal associated with it. A Disney director could easily have arranged for all communications like mine – I imagine there were many – to be courteously answered, with an offer of an update on the actions that will be taken to assist and compensate the families of the people who died in the fire.

    That I have been redirected to you shows a shocking disregard for all the people who lost their lives in the Tazreen fire or suffered as a consquence of it. I do not mean any rudeness to you by writing this. I am simply disgusted that the person I wrote to did not arrange for someone to respond to me in her absence, instead of leaving an automated message that effectively says, “Oh, I’m away – say the whole thing over again to one of my colleagues”.

    Please just look at the response I received from Ms Rubbo:

    I am out of the office April 26 and may be delayed in responding. If this is urgent, please contact my assistant, Angela Young-Klanko at Angela.Young-Klanko@disney.com. Thank you.

    “If this is urgent . . .”. Urgent! I should think the situation is pretty urgent for the families of the dead. Some of them may fear that they are facing destitution. The dead themselves are beyond all urgency now.

    I suggest that you talk to one of your senior people, who in turn can talk to someone on the board of directors.

    Perhaps Disney’s directors could ask themselves this question:

    How good is the following statement going to look on Twitter? –

    Tazreen Fashions Scandal – lots of dead bodies – Disney’s Mickey Mouse response

    I think it’s time someone in a senior position at your company wrote me a personal reply. I want to know what’s going to be done to help all these poor people after the horror they’ve been through.

    Yours sincerely,

    Joseph Marshall

  2. Further to the above two posts, I have now replied to Laura Rubbo at Disney. A copy of my reply follows shortly.

    To Disney’s credit, they have supplied a statement on the Tazreen fire. Ms Rubbo has responded directly to my enquiry. No such courtesy has been extended to me by the buyers of any of the other companies I sent my original e-mail to.

    From: Joe Marshall (joseph.james11@hotmail.co.uk)
    Sent: 29 April 2013 19:23:31
    To: Rubbo, Laura (laura.rubbo@disney.com)

    Dear Ms Rubbo,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have read with interest the statement that your company published in December 2012. Since I do not know of any evidence that contradicts this statement, I am happy to acknowledge that Disney seems to have had only a tangential association with the Tazreen scandal and does not appear to be culpable in the matter.

    I would add, however, that I found some of the broader points made within the statement to be disturbing.

    The wording is interesting. For example: “We share the perspective of other brands, human rights groups, government agencies, workers’ organizations and others that more must be done to prevent tragic fires like the one at Tazreen.” The use of the passive voice in the phrase I have italicised strikes me as telling. It seems to me to convey the notion that Disney is happy to pay lip service to an appropriate sentiment, while maintaining a convenient distance from any commitment to action on its own initiative.

    This is borne out for me by the section headed About Licensing, which I think emphasises the distance that large corporations try to put between themselves and their supply chains – a system that allows for all kinds of malpractice, while enabling the corporations to protest their innocence: “The vast majority of Disney-branded products are manufactured and sold by independent licensees that are granted the right to manufacture and sell products to or through independent retail operations around the world. In these business arrangements, Disney does not oversee the purchase orders, manufacturing, import, distribution or sale of these products and, indeed, Disney does not own these products. Disney is not in any contractual arrangement with the factory . . .”. Disney grants licences, but any manufacturing firm to whom a license is granted is an “independent”, dealing with a network of other ‘independents’, so Disney’s responsibility ends at the granting of the licence! Ingenious and legally watertight, no doubt, but morally specious. The production of any non-counterfeit item that bears the Disney brand is ultimately Disney’s responsibility, regardless of putative ownership, contractual arrangements, the nominal independence of the licensee, etc, etc. On the basis of legalistic tomfoolery, a great deal of ill-regulated ‘business’ activity can – and certainly will – be carried on. Within this context, it seems to me that only fortune is likely to determine whether or not Disney will eventually find itself deeply implicated in a scandal similar to the Tazreen Fashions fire – although I accept your company’s statement of its innocence in this particular case.

    Yours sincerely,

    Joseph Marshall

  3. NOTE

    In the fourth paragraph of my e-mail, the phrase I italicised was ‘more must be done’.

    I was quoting Disney’s statement that “more must be done to prevent tragic fires like the one at Tazreen”.

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