Dutch companies producing garments in India often pay less than minimum wage: Study

By TCN News,

New Delhi: The working conditions in factories in India that produce for Dutch clothing brands are downright bad. No garment worker earns a living wage. More than one third of the workers not even get the official minimum wage. Mandatory overtime is often not paid, intimidation is widespread and women earn even less than men. Also, some factories do not take care of social insurances and medical expenses. That, and more, emerges from the study Doing Dutch – Research into the state of pay for workers in garment factories in India working for Dutch fashion brands published today by the (Dutch) Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands.

The India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) is a human rights organisation dedicated to improving the lives of the marginalized in South Asia by giving information, awareness raising, advocacy, lobby, networking, research and publicity.

As a part of its campaign the Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands have done research in factories in South India from August 2015. Local researchers interviewed 150 workers at ten factories producing clothes for Dutch brands, 15 workers per factory. They also talked extensively with members of trade unions and civil society organizations (NGOs) who are committed to working conditions and are fighting for the rights of the people who make our clothes.
The study also revealed that other working conditions are also quite bad in factories producing for C&A, Coolcat, G-Star, McGregor, MEXX, Scotch & Soda, Suitsupply, The Sting and WE Fashion.

It also found that on an average a worker earn just €100 per month, after deduction of various fines often not more than €90 which is much less than €256, a living wage for workers in India set by Asia Floor Wage.

The study discusses its findings under different categories – Starvation wages, Unpaid overtime work and ‘wage penalties’, Gender inequality, Mothers with babies are not allowed to work and Researched factories representative for all garment factories in India.

“We expect garment companies to make a concrete plan for a living wage for all workers and that to make sure that their procurement price enables the suppliers to pay a living wage. The government must make firm agreements with all garment companies to ensure that this really happens and that production facilities are made public,” says Gerard Oonk, director of the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN).

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