Where there are workers fashion workie?
This has been known for decades: Most clothes we wear are made in countries where workers rights are either non-existent Fashion Workie or limited. Production sites move frequently to find cheaper labour costs.
Many times, we hear business owners say that “for these employees, it is better than none”, “at most, we give them work”, and they may be right to an extent. It is also true to state that they exploit the misery of those who are unable to work in a fair wage environment. Even the European Parliament uses the term “slave labor” to describe the current conditions for garment workers in Asia.
We know that companies will move to other countries if the working conditions in one country improve. If consumers don’t push for change, we believe that neither the government nor the corporate world can expect much.
MISERABLE WAGES FASHION WORKIE
Many fashion companies assure customers that workers who make their clothes are paid at least the legal minimum wage. What does this actually mean?
It means that not only does it mean that other brands don’t pay the minimum legal wage, but also many others do!
In most manufacturing countries (India , Bangladesh ), the minimum wage is between half and a fifth of what the living wage. A living wage is the minimum a family needs to meet its basic needs (food and rent, healthcare, education ). These brands boast about paying their employees five times more than the minimum that a person needs to live comfortably.
EXTENSIVE WORKING HOURS
Garment workers often have to work up to 16 hours per day, seven days a week. They may have to work until 3 or 4 AM during peak seasons in order to meet the deadlines of fashion brands. They are paid such low Fashion Workie wages that overtime is not possible for them. Many would also be fired if refused overtime. Sometimes overtime is not paid at all.
UNACCEPTABLE SAFETY & HEALTH CONDITIONS
In 2013, Rana Plaza collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh killing 1134 garment workers.
Most employees work in areas with little ventilation. They may inhale toxic substances, breathe in fibre dust, or blast sand from unsafe buildings. On textile production sites, accidents, fires and injuries are common.
Clothing workers are often subject to verbal or physical abuse. Sometimes, if they don’t meet their daily goal, they may be insulted or denied breaks.
FREQUENT CHILD LABOUR USE
- The world’s 168 million children are forced to work.
- Child labour is common because the fashion industry relies on low-skilled labor.
Sumangali is a scheme that sends young girls from poverty to work in textile factories for three to five years. This gives them a basic wage, and a lump sum to cover their dowry. The conditions in which girls live are so horrible that they can be considered modern slavery, and they are often overworked.
SCANDALOUS USE of FORCED LABOUR
- Numerous cases of forced labor have been reported in the supply chain of Fashion Workie.
Uzbekistan is one of the largest cotton exporters in the world, and this is their most famous example. Over a million people are forced to quit their jobs every autumn in order to pick cotton. Children are also mobilized to pick cotton.
PROHIBITION OF WORKERS UNIONS
Most of these factories do not allow garment workers to form unions to protect their collective rights.
Specific regulations and laws in the export zones where factories are established frequently restrict the creation or formation of unions. This is the case in Bangladesh where only 10% have a registered union.
Factories can also threaten or physically attack Fashion Workie members of unions, firing them with impunity. This discourages employees from forming unions.