MIDDLETONS LAWYERS is advising fashion house Bettina Liano on an alleged breach of the Federal Clothing Award. According to the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFU), Bettina Liano has failed to comply with some of the Award’s outworker clauses.
The provisions apply to anyone who makes garments for the company outside workshops or factories and are designed to prevent the exploitation of “sweatshop” workers by fashion companies seeking cheap labour in developing countries. Particular violations addressed include excessive overtime and unsafe work practices.
Middletons partner Tony Watson maintains the Federal Court action has come as a shock to Bettina Liano, and stated in a media release on 6 March that “Bettina Liano does not itself manufacture clothing or engage outworkers”.
“Bettina Liano has also been working with the TCFU to seek accreditation under the voluntary Home Workers Code of Practice,” the media release said.
According to Watson, the company has not yet been served any court documents and “has not received any prior correspondence or notice from the TCFU that any such action was threatened”.