Jump to Levi Strauss : Alerts;
• Levi’s jeans are practically an American staple, but they aren’t actually made in America. Levi Strauss closed the last of its American factories in 2003, causing almost 2,000 people to lose their jobs
• Levi’s has been accused of using factories in Turkey and Mexico that severely exploited their workers.
• Labor Behind the Label has reported that while Levi claims it supports a fair wage for workers, the company has not taken any noticeable steps to implement one.
• Levi Strauss has taken some positive steps such as pulling out of Burma and implementing excellent diversity policies for its in-store employees, but labor practices for its factory workers are lagging far behind.
• Visit Go Green to find out how to get clothing you can feel good about wearing.
-- Profile Updated 04/25/2011
About Levi Strauss
Levi Strauss is best known for manufacturing blue jeans; however, the company also produces a line of casual wear under the names Levis, Dockers and Slates, which are sold in more than 110 countries. In 2006, Levi Strauss reported sales of $4.1 billion and employed 10,680 people.
Dockers Brand - San Francisco, CA
- Levi Strauss & Co. (Branch) - Hebron, KY
- Levi Strauss & Co. - Canton, MS
Levi Strauss & Co. - Canton, MS
- Levi Strauss & Co. - Hebron, KY
- Levi Strauss & Co. - Henderson, NV
- Levi Strauss & Co. - Little Rock, AR
- Levi Strauss & Co. - New York, NY
- Levi Strauss & Co. - Powell, TN
- Levi Strauss & Co. - Richmond Hill, Canada
- Levi Strauss & Co. - San Francisco, CA
- Levi Strauss & Co. - Weston, FL
- Levi Strauss International Inc. - Napa, CA
- Levi's Brand - San Francisco, CA
- Levis Only Stores Inc. (Division) - Dallas, TX
- Slates Brand - San Francisco, CA
Contact Levi Strauss
San Francisco, CA 94111 USA
The National Labor Committee (NLC) noted that while Levi Strauss supplier Goldenwear factory had its shortcomings, it was performing better than the other factories in its industrial park in Jordan. The NLC’s September 2006 update on Jordanian factories reported signs of progress at Goldenwear. In early September, workers went on strike and won a regular 8 hour workday. According to the NLC, “In the past, this would have been unheard of and such a strike would have been met with retaliatory firings and deportation.” Even with such improvements Goldenwear factory labor policies and practices still have a long way to go. Management only returned confiscated passports to 70 percent of its workers.
-- National Labor Committee, 09/27/2006
Labour Behind the Label (LBL) published a report entitled “Let’s Clean Up Fashion: The State of Pay Behind the UK High Street ,” evaluating retailers’ supply-chains based on wages paid, freedom of association afforded workers, as well as monitoring and verification of garment factories LBL listed Levi Strauss in the “Could Do Better” category. According to LBL, Levi Strauss acknowledges that workers must earn the legal minimum but is not convincingly working to apply the living wage standard. The company did not demonstrate efforts to promote freedom of association within its factories. LBL would like to see the company systematically engage its trade union and local labor rights organizations in the monitoring and verification process.
-- Clean Clothes Campaign, 09/14/2006
The Clean Clothes Campaign highlighted a series of worker rights violations in global garment supplier Paxar Corporation’s Turkish factory. The Turkish factory and Paxar Corporation have repeatedly tried to destroy trade union activity:
In early 2005, Paxar fired 11 workers shortly after the union successfully organized the factory and opened negotiations with Paxar. According to the Turkish High Court of Appeal’s decisions, these firings were illegal, and Paxar was ordered to reinstate all 11 workers. The company has yet to take action as per the High Court’s instructions.
In late 2005, the Turkish factory dismissed at least 4 trade union members. Ayce Bagbakar, who joined the trade union in March 2006, was fired in April 2006. The Clean Clothes Campaign states that these cases, which are still underway, “represent clear-cut unfair dismissals.”
In August 2006, Textile, Knitting and Clothing Industry Workers' Union of Turkey (TEKSIF) unsuccessfully negotiated with Paxar on issues such as wage and bonus payments. The Clean Clothes Campaign asks consumers to pressure brands that buy from the Turkish factory to express their disapproval over these labor violations. Turkish factory’s clients include Gap, Levi Strauss, Wal-Mart, Disney, Adidas, Puma, and Nike.
-- Clean Clothes Campaign, 06/20/2006
Source URL: www.cleanclothes.org/urgent/06-08-24.htm
For more than a year, the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras (CJM), in partnership with other labor advocates such as Sweatshop Watch, Global Exchange, Cross Border Network, Transnational Information Exchange launched a campaign calling on Levi Strauss to "live up to its claims of corporate citizenship." Workers at Lajat's Gomez Palacio garment factory in Mexico were subject to labor violations including no overtime pay, exposure to dangerous chemicals, dirty bathrooms, blocked exits, and denial of their right to organize. Lajat illegally closed the factory after workers successfully formed a workers union in February of 2006. Following public pressure on Levi Strauss in April 2006, a deal was made between the workers and Lajat. Workers won 100 percent of everything Lajat owed them including wages, overtime, severance pay, and contributions to government benefits. Lajat paid roughly US$374,000 and dropped all charges against the workers. The workers did not receive a reinstatement to organize; however, the union remains intact.
-- Sweatshop Watch, 04/27/2006
Source URL: www.sweatshopwatch.org/index.php?s=85
In January 2004, Levi won the dismissal of a lawsuit over alleged sweatshop abuses on the U.S. commonwealth island of Saipan. The company had been the lone hold-out in a $20 million settlement of a class action lawsuit in 2003 filed against Levi Strauss and 21 other companies. The lawsuit charged that the companies contracted sweatshop labor on Saipan and should be held accountable for worker treatment and conditions in foreign-owned factories operating on U.S. soil. According to the complaint, the more than 13,000 garment workers in Saipan regularly worked 12-hour days, seven days a week, oftentimes "off the clock" without receiving any pay or overtime.
Levi was the only company not to agree to the settlement saying it stopped buying garments from Saipan factories in 2000. A company spokeman said, "We felt from the beginning of the litigation that the allegations were simply not true. I think you have to stand behind what you believe in. You can't let people lightly accuse you of allegations that are not true with the expectation that because of the expense and the negative publicity that you're going to get, that you're going to settle."
An attorney for the plaintiffs said that plaintiffs' attorneys agreed to the voluntary dismissal of the case against Levi's because the larger battle already was won.
-- San Francisco Chronicle, 01/08/2004
In September 2003 Levi announced that it would close the last of its North American manufacturing plants, laying off almost 2,000 workers. The company said it would it would shutter two plants in San Antonio by the end of the year, displacing 800 workers there and marking the end of its U.S. manufacturing operations and would discontinue its Canadian operations in March, ending 1,190 jobs at three plants in Alberta and Ontario. Levi uses about 500 contractors to produce its apparel in 50 countries, including Mexico, China and Bangladesh.
Workers' rights activists and labor organizers protested at Levi's San Francisco factory to voice their outrage after the company's decision to close six of the last eight U.S. plants, and cutting 3,600 jobs internationally. The San Francisco plant's 100 workers, who will lose their jobs in June, will receive a lump-sum payment and two weeks' severance for every year of service. Declining revenue and increasing costs are Levi's reasons cited for moving production overseas.
-- San Francisco Chronicle, 09/26/2003
Source URL: www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0926-03.htm
The London Sunday Times recently found tons of illegally dumped waste from garment manufacturers, including suppliers of major denim retailers such as Levi Strauss and Gap, after months-long investigations in Lesotho. Razors, sharps, needles and other hazardous waste used in textile machinery were found among the scraps of denim and discarded clothing tags. The dump is constantly burning, producing acrid smoke that causes chest infections in children and skin irritation. The textile mill has installed a water purification facility but untreated waste water, dyed deep blue and polluted with chemicals, was found leaking into the water table and local river. Gap, trying to protect its reputation for social responsibility, acted quickly by commencing its own on the ground investigation; Levi Strauss also promised action.
-- CBS News, 01/08/2010