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9 Feb 2016

Labour behind the Label

Do we buy it?

When we analysed wages in M&S suppliers, we found that the impact of their commitment on real wages had been minimal. At M&S suppliers in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, workers continue to live in abject poverty...In Sri Lanka...overtime was a serious issue, and factories fiddled their books to hide the illegal 100 hours of overtime a month that workers sometimes had to work to make ends meet...In India workers reported verbal harassment, gender discrimination, and unspeci ed wage deductions...In Bangladesh, we found M&S workers living in slum housing, and in debt, having to pay for groceries on credit each month because wages were too low...Looking to H&M’s fair living wage work, we sought out H&M strategic suppliers in Cambodia to analyse their wage levels. Wages had increased, but not enough to meet a living wage level. Workers reported issues with short term contracts limiting their rights to holiday and bonuses...Verdict on M&S and H&M’s living wage rhetoric: Fail (so far).