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Hugo Boss, stop excusing union-busting!

In 2020, workers at Lanka Leather — a Sri Lankan factory that makes clothes for  Hugo Boss — faced intolerable pressure to meet targets. Some even reported being denied toilet breaks while working. So, workers formed a union as a positive way of bringing management to the table to resolve matters through discussion and negotiation.  

Since 2020, Lanka Leather management has refused to engage with the established union. Instead, they have used familiar ‘union-busting’ tactics to try and break the union. Lanka Leather has dismissed union leaders, or forced them to resign based on fabricated allegations, and it has set-up an alternative ‘employee council’ to try and side-line the union whilst giving the appearance of listening to workers.  

Hugo Boss is well aware of this protracted struggle of workers at Lanka Leather to have their union recognised. The Clean Clothes Campaign has written to Hugo Boss repeatedly and so far, it has responded with ineffectual audits and queries. Whilst Hugo Boss dithers, Lanka Leather workers’ rights are being denied. 

Hugo Boss, like many fashion companies, will tell you that it has ‘supplier codes of conduct’ that uphold the rights of workers to unionise. But what is happening to workers at Lanka Leather shows that Hugo Boss is falling far short of its promises. Hugo Boss is profiting from the low wages and poor working conditions of the women who make its clothes. By refusing to act on union-busting it is denying these women their rights and ensuring the current situation continues. We must force Hugo Boss to take responsibility for the abuses in its supply chains. 

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