by admin

Dear Levi’s Leadership,

As an independent union founded by workers, we reiterate our call for Levi’s to leverage its influence to foster change. After careful reconsideration, we at BİRTEK-SEN  have refined our demands and wish that you see this as a positive approach and meet with your supplier Özak Textile again to guide them in line with our demands below.

Here are our final demands,

– BİRTEK-SEN understands that Levi’s has decided to end its orders with Özak. We understand that Levi’s cannot do business with a supplier that refuses to stop violating workers’ rights and come into compliance with Levi’s code of conduct.

– However, as a union we want to preserve jobs. Therefore we would like there to be one more attempt to reach an agreement with Özak before Levi’s permanently ceases its relationship with Özak.
– Özak management has only been willing to meet with us once and has refused to meet with us again. Therefore, we ask that Levi’s make the final attempt to bring your supplier into compliance with labor law.
– In order to save the jobs, we are willing to demonstrate extraordinary flexibility and to reduce our demands to the bare minimum if this means that the factory will stay open, with respect for freedom of association, and our members can be rehired. For example, we won’t demand a protocol/agreement between BİRTEK-SEN and management. In our view, the essential elements of an agreement between Levi’s and Özak, as a condition of a full restoration of orders by Levi’s, are:
1) Özak agrees to only hire workers from a list provided by BİRTEK-SEN (these will all be workers who were terminated in December who would like to be reinstated) and will first rehire those workers who have not yet received any severance pay (kıdem tazminatı) from Özak after their termination; 
2) Özak agrees to respect workers’ right to freedom of association and not discriminate against returning workers; and 3) Özak agrees to reach an agreement with BİRTEK-SEN within one month on pending compensation for terminated workers.
– We believe it’s essential to make this final attempt — and to do so quickly — to bring the factory into compliance, before it’s otherwise inevitable closure and the loss of more jobs. Please let us know whether Levi’s will communicate accordingly with the factory management.

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