Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / War on Want urges British firms to pay living wages
War on Want urges British firms to pay living wages
06
Nov '12
Campaigners welcomed the news that more British companies are committing to paying UK workers a living wage, but said it was scandalous that firms are not forced to ensure a living wage in their overseas supply chains.

The call for a living wage – from War on Want, Labour Behind the Label and the National Garment Workers Federation in Bangladesh – came as the Living Wage Foundation named accredited living wage employers amid the announcement of new living wage rates for Britain and London.

War on Want has uncovered a systemic problem of worker exploitation, poverty pay and sweatshop conditions in a number of sectors supplying UK shops and supermarkets. The charity has exposed workers in the tea industry in Kenya supplying British supermarkets, earning as little as 7p an hour. It has also highlighted similar poverty pay for workers on farms in South Africa supplying wine and fruit to UK supermarkets, as well as flower workers in Colombia and Kenya.

The fashion industry has come under particular scrutiny in recent years for its failure to ensure workers are paid a living wage. Last year War on Want’s report Stitched Up revealed the vast majority of garments from Bangladesh sold in British stores are made by women 18-32 years old - similar ages to many British females buying them – who struggle to survive amid poor pay and conditions. Sewing operators’ pay started at only £32 (3,861 taka) a month and for helpers at £25 (3,000 taka) a month. But women interviewed cited their average household spending on basic needs, like food and housing, as £75 (8,896 taka) a month.

Labour Behind the Label’s Let’s Clean Up Fashion reports, supported by War on Want, have exposed firms which denied workers producing their clothes enough pay for decent food, housing, education for their children and healthcare.

The latest report named 29 brands Reiss, Zara, Debenhams, Hobbs, Jane Norman, La Senza, Paul Smith, Peacocks, Republic, Superdry, Fat Face, French Connection, Gap, River Island, White Stuff, Arcadia, Asda George, Aurora, Burberry, H&M, Levi’s, Matalan, New Look, Primark, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Next, Marks & Spencer and Monsoon. Fourteen months since the launch of the report, none of the 29 brands has yet ensured workers in its supply chain receives a living wage.

War on Want international programmes officer Laia Blanch said: "It is a scandal that  people in the UK do not receive a living wage and around the globe workers supplying British companies also earn poverty pay. It is absurd to think the working poor can escape poverty on wages that fail to meet basic needs. It is time to end the race to the bottom in pay and conditions. People everywhere are demanding a living wage. It would be good for the economy, good for society and its time has come."

Anna McMullen, campaigns coordinator at Labour Behind the Label, said: “Multinational corporations, which exercise more power than many governments and make increasingly large profits, have the responsibility to ensure human rights are upheld for people who produce and sell their goods. The right to decent wages in the fashion industry is systematically abused both here and overseas. It is the scandal of our times.”


Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 27th Jun 2017

Govt defers tax deduction at source provision under GST

E-commerce players in India will not be required to deduct tax on...

Apparel/Garments | On 27th Jun 2017

Future Group aims Rs 12,000 crore in fashion business

Future Group, which runs retail stores across India under various...

Textiles | On 27th Jun 2017

AEPC & NSDL to help exporters with GST compliances

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) and National Securities...

Interviews View All

Kaizad Hansotia
GetNatty

Competition is the best thing that can happen to a startup

Neel Sawhney
One Friday

‘The share of kidswear segment in the online sector is still small in...

Yash Maniyar
Rekha Maniyar

Indian fashion market is growing at a staggering rate

Suresh Patel
Sidwin Fabric

Sidwin Fabric is a manufacturer and exporter of polypropylene textiles and ...

Mark Paterson
Technical Absorbents Ltd

Mark Paterson, R&D manager of Technical Absorbents Ltd talks about Super...

Giorgio Mantovani
Corman S.p.A

Giorgio Mantovani, MD of Corman, with a presence in both Milano and New...

Mike Hoffman
Gildan Activewear SRL

Gildan Activewear, a manufacturer and marketer of branded clothing and...

Silvia Venturini Fendi
Fendi s.r.l

"Yes, my confidence and positive attitude are my strengths and should be...

Prathyusha Garimella
Prathyusha Garimella

Hyderabad-based designer <b>Prathyusha Garimella</b> is known for blending ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

news category


Related Categories:
July 2017

July 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

SUBSCRIBE


Browse Our Archives

GO


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search