Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SWEAT SHOP FASHION

"High street fashion brands are making "glacial progress" towards ensuring overseas workers earn a living wage, campaigners say today. The £36bn-a-year industry has only begun to "dabble" with moves to improve the "paltry" pay of those working for its suppliers, according to a report from the anti-sweatshop coalition Labour Behind the Label. Most companies say it will be years before they have a workable scheme. The report, published two days before the start of London fashion week, follows exposés of alleged sweatshop conditions, particularly among suppliers in Bangladesh and India. But the report's author, Martin Hearson, says garment workers in other countries including Turkey and Morocco and in Eastern Europe are also not getting a living wage. "The people who make our clothes live in poverty, usually earning half of what they need to meet their basic needs and those of their families. And 10 years since the bulk of the industry signed up to the principle that all workers should earn living wages, nothing has been done to make that principle a reality." (Guardian, 12 September) RD

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