India: Jeans maker sues human rights groups
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) have been summoned to appear in court in Bangalore later this month after jeans supplier Fibres and Fabrics International and its 100% subsidiary Jeans Knit Pvt Ltd accused them of cyber crime, acts of racist and xenophobic nature and criminal defamation.
This is the first time that a manufacturer has filed suit against the campaign groups, which interviewed workers from the factories in November 2005 and March 2006.
The interviews are alleged to have revealed serious labour rights' violations, including high workload, forced overwork, physical and psychological abuse, non-payment of overtime, and the non-issuance of identity cards and contracts.
"Suing all human rights organisations that report about working conditions in the garment industry in Bangalore will not solve anything," said Esther de Haan , of the CCC International Secretariat and one of the accused.
Fibres and Fabrics International and Jeans Knit produce for international brand name companies such as G-Star, Mexx, Gap and Armani.