INDIA: Human rights trial hears garment worker woes
Around 250 Indian garment workers from Bangalore, Gurgaon and Tirupur have attended a tribunal event being held this week to talk about poverty pay, harassment and abuse in factories that make clothes for Western brands and retailers.
The trial-like 'National People's Tribunal on the Right to a Living Wage' will see evidence presented by workers surveyed by a panel of international judges.
International brands including H&M and Adidas, as well as government representatives, are also giving evidence at the tribunal which started yesterday (22 November).
Workers have spoken about sexual harassment, verbal abuse, low wages and the endemic problems around overtime and the right to join a union.
"We agree that wages should be enough to live on," said Tobias Fischer, relations sustainability manager for H&M. "We are working with our suppliers to ensure compliance on this."
The retailer is also reported to have acknowledged that overtime is a problem in its supply chain with a significant proportion of suppliers involved in non-payment of overtime wages.
Campaigners say wages below poverty levels are an on-going problem in the Indian garment industry, which exports EUR7284m of clothing for European consumers each year.
The monthly minimum wage for garment workers in Bangalore is INR4472 (US$81), which is said to be only 43% of a living wage enough to support a family.
Experts from law and academic backgrounds are today set to give evidence about economic and industry barriers to change - with the judges due to present a verdict on Sunday with recommendations for industry stakeholders to address the issues raised.
The People's Tribunal in India is the third of its kind to be held on issues in the garment industry. The first took place in Sri Lanka in 2011 and the second in Cambodia earlier this year.
Companies: H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB
An interactive databank with intelligence on the major apparel sourcing countries
More than 220 companies have now signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Dhaka, which killed more than 1,100 people in ...
Regional department store retailer Stage Stores has reported a deeper first-quarter loss, impacted by a $9.7m one-off charge and cooler temperatures, which hurt sales of seasonal merchandise....
The most-read stories on just-style this week include a rush by apparel brands and retailers to sign the new Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a report on what the agreement entails, a...
A group of North American retailers has gone its own way on strengthening safety efforts at Bangladesh garment factories, setting up a new initiative said to offer a long-term solution that also offer...
More retailers and brands have joined the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh ahead of the midnight deadline (15 May). ...
- Cotton supply chain transparency an ongoing issue
- Supply chain takeaways from Sourcing at MAGIC
- No simple way to be sustainable, says SAC CEO
- Why voters don’t want more global supply chains
- What's 3D-printing doing for apparel and footwear?
- Li & Fung eyes supply chain speed in 3-year plan
- Nike and Crystal Group "doing well by doing good"
- What does supply chain mapping really mean?
- EU clothing imports from China continue to plunge
- Zara USA faces US$5m deceptive pricing lawsuit
- Too Many Standards
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Myanmar's Garment Sector in 2015 - now with updated members' directory
- Under Armour, Inc. (UA) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Central America strategic sourcing review - a focus on Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras