BANGLADESH: European retailers in "sweatshop" claims
Clothing retailers in Europe, Australia and Canada have been accused of selling knitwear made in "prison-like conditions" by workers in Bangladesh who are paid as little as $0.16 an hour, a report claims.
British Home Stores, Coles, Dressmann, Celio and de Bijenkorf are among firms who source from the Chinese-owned Rosita Knitwears and Megha Textile (Megatex) factories based at the Ishwardi Export Processing Zone in North Bengal, Bangladesh.
But according to research by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, the 5,000 workers at these factories face routine sexual harassment, beatings, corporal punishment, mass firings and imprisonment under false charges.
It is now urging the retailers involved to meet with workers, the Institute, factory management and the Ministry of Labor to guarantee full compliance with Bangladesh's labour laws and the ILO's core worker rights standards.
The UK's BHS chain, which is part of Arcadia Group says it is "investigating urgently with the supplier who has used one of these factories for BHS production."
Dressmann, which is part of Norway's Varner Group, says it is "now starting an internal process to understand how this situation could occur without our knowledge." And De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands is also "investigating now, and speaking with our suppliers...We will continue our investigation until we get to the bottom of this."
The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights also says most of the workers at the factories are classified as "Grade 2" "Junior Operators" even if they have many years' experience.
As such they are paid just BDT4086 (US$50) a month - $5.17 less than the $55 a month wage set by the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA). Essentially, this means that the workers lose nearly two-and-a-half days' wages each month.
Like a vast, slow-moving and rather unwieldy tanker, battered and lashed by stormy seas, the UK's largest clothing retailer Marks & Spencer has done much over the past decade to try to steady its busi...
UK fashion retailer Topshop is teaming up with Facebook so that customers can view, customise and order selected looks from its spring/summer catwalk shows three months ahead of standard industry lead...
Top stories on just-style this week include the Olympic Games failing to boost August retail sales in the UK, a look at just-style's latest management briefing on RFID technology and H&M calls for hig...
Fashion retail giant Arcadia Group has teamed up with Jupi Corp and reality TV stars the Kardashian sisters to launch a clothing collection in the UK under its Dorothy Perkins brand....
UK fashion chain River Island has remained coy on speculation it is looking to open its first store in the US next year....
UK retail group Arcadia Group is to open its first Topshop and Topman store in Johannesburg, South Africa, through a franchise agreement with Edcon and House of Busby....
US department store operator Nordstom has teamed up with UK retail group Arcadia to sell the Topshop and Topman brands in 14 of its US stores....
- SOURCING: Production problems weigh on Pakistan
- What next for smart fabrics and garments?
- Smart sportswear faces mass production challenges
- Frank Henke discusses Adidas sustainability agenda
- Cutting-edge companies focus on consumer needs
- “Unsafe” Bangladesh factory refuses to evacuate
- Cambodia labour abuse claims disputed
- Major Ethiopia textile build experiences delays
- Garment factory tool to improve communication
- RFID adoption among retailers near “tipping point”
- Myanmar's Garment Sector - Opportunities & Challenges in 2015
- Apparel Retail: Top 5 Emerging Markets Industry Guide
- Management briefing: Outlook 2015: Apparel industry issues in the year ahead
- Outdoor performance apparel: peaks, valleys, and green fields
- Global market review of swimwear - forecasts to 2019