Report finds ‘Made in Europe’ label tied to garment and shoe production in European sweatshops

A new report published today by the Clean Clothes Campaign, Europe’s Sweatshops, documents endemic poverty wages and other stark working conditions in the garment and shoe industry throughout Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Despite working overtime, many workers in the Ukraine for example make just EUR 89 a month, where a living wage would have to be five times that much. Among customers of the factories are fashion brands like Benetton, Esprit, GEOX, Triumph and Vera Moda.

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Fabric of Slavery

Large-scale forced (child) labour in India’s spinning mills

New research by the India Committee of Netherlands (ICN) shows that various forms of modern slavery, including child slavery, are found in more than 90% of the spinning mills in South India. These spinning mills produce yarn for India, Bangladeshi and Chinese garment factories that produce for the Western market.
The report Fabric of Slavery exposes the scale on which young girls and women are enslaved by employers who withhold their wages or lock them up in company-controlled hostels. They work long hours, face sexual harassment and do not even earn the minimum wage. Gerard Oonk, director of ICN: “We have raised the issue for five years now, but even to us the scale of this problem came as a shock.”

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Tax Shopping. Exploring Zara’s tax avoidance business.

The Greens/EFA in the European Parliament reveal  that Inditex has saved at least €585 million in taxes during the period 2011-2014, by using aggressive corporate tax avoidance techniques, mainly in the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland. You may not know Inditex, but you surely know Zara, Massimo Dutti or Pull&Bear, some of the brands owned by Inditex. Our research looked in detail at their financial accounts and shows how some of their profits are moved to the Netherlands through royalties. Royalty payments are made by many companies for the right to use a brand name. Continue reading “Tax Shopping. Exploring Zara’s tax avoidance business.”

Captured by Cotton

Exploited Dalit girls produce garments in India for European and US markets

This report highlights several labour rights violations faced by girls and young women employed under the Sumangali Scheme in the Tamil Nadu garment industry. The Sumangali Scheme equals bonded labour, on the basis of the fact that employers are unilaterally holding back part of the workers’ wages until three or more years of work have been completed.

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