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Apparel workers toil for pittance of clothing retail price
Dec '09
Indonesia has a thriving textiles and clothing export trade. Exports from the sector touched more than US $10 billion in the previous year. But the men and women working in the apparel manufacturing companies are amongst the lowest paid.

At a clothing factory in Jakarta, workers are busy readying replicas of T-shirts of different football teams in time for the World Cup to be held next year in South Africa. But they are paid a fraction of what these T-shirts retail at in the western countries.

These workers are paid around US $3.30 per day for the T-shirts they stitch for well-known labels and would have to spend a month's wages to purchase the same which retails for around $80 in western economies.

Labour activists argue that though these workers are paid the stipulated minimum wage, the take home salaries are too low for them to maintain a decent living standard. In order to earn more, these workers toil longer hours by working overtime.

Labour unions plan to highlight this stark anomaly by making people in foreign countries aware of what goes on in these factories and make them raise their voice, which might help bring change in the lives of these workers.

On the other hand, brands like Nike, Adidas and Puma insist that they take care to ensure that the workers of the factories from which they source their clothing requirements are paid fair wages and wages should equal or exceed the minimum wage standards.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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