‘Change your shoes, Schuh’ call by UNISON to improve shoe workers’ rights


UNISON and Neil Findlay MSP will present a petition on Monday (20 November) to global retailer Schuh calling for leather and shoe supply chain transparency and action to improve shoe workers’ rights.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay will join UNISON activists at the company head office in Livingston to hand over the petition, and provide Schuh with case studies of exploited workers in shoe factories in India and Bangladesh.

The Labour Behind the Label campaign, supported by UNISON Scotland, aims to raise awareness of the dangerous working conditions and exploitation of garment workers producing goods sold on our high streets.

UNISON is demanding that the global footwear company show they are willing to be held publicly accountable for conditions of workers in their supply chain. Making supplier lists public and taking immediate action to make working conditions safer for some of the world’s most vulnerable workers would be a positive step.

Simon Macfarlane, UNISON regional organiser, said: “People across the world are waking up to the links between the shoes and clothes they buy and the exploitation of workers by well-known brands. More than 13,000 global citizens have signed a petition calling on Schuh and other retailers to act to ensure garment workers are not endangered.”

Neil Findlay Labour MSP for the Lothians said: “We would like Schuh, a Livingston based company, to demonstrate that they are industry leaders by standing up for the rights of working people involved throughout the manufacture of the shoes they sell. They can do this by requiring that  companies in their extensive supply chain meet decent labour standards and by actively monitoring suppliers to ensure compliance.

“Working conditions in the garment industry are often hidden from us because most brands keep their supply chains secret. This needs to change. We all want Schuh to provide fair pay and good working conditions for workers in Livingston but this should also apply to those across the world who make the products they sell.”

Media contact: 

Simon Macfarlane UNISON Scotland Regional Organiser: 07703 194132.

Photo opportunity. Photographers and reporters are welcome to attend.

The Labour Behind the Label petition will be handed in at Schuh at 12.30pm on Monday 20 November at their office at:
1 Neilson Square, Deans Industrial Estate, Livingston, EH54 8RQ

Notes to Editors:

UNISON and Labour Behind the Label’s letter to Schuh is online here https://unison-scotland.org/wp-content/uploads/CYS_Schuh_petition_Nov-2017f.pdf

The petition information is available at http://labourbehindthelabel.org/campaigns/shoes/ 

The petition called  on leading UK shoe brands and retailers (Schuh, Office, Faith (Debenhams), Dr Martens, Primark, Asda, Very.co.uk (Shop Direct), Bohoo.com, Boden, Harvey Nichols and Sports Direct) along with leading global shoe brands (Deichmann, Camper, Prada, Birkenstock, CCC, Leder & Schuh) to: publish the names and addresses of all their suppliers; report on progress in moving away from dangerous chemicals; show that they are respecting the human rights of the people who make their shoes, ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions.