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Bangladesh: Women garment workers at Lululemon supplier factory allege they are subject to physical violence & forced overtime; incl. co. comments

Author: Sarah Marsh & Redwan Ahmed, The Guardian, Published on: 14 October 2019

"Workers making £88 Lululemon leggings claim they are beaten", 14 October 2019

Lululemon, an athleisure brand whose £88 leggings are worn by celebrities and Instagram influencers, are sourcing clothing from a factory where Bangladeshi female factory workers claim they are beaten and physically assaulted...

[Y]oung female workers... gave detailed accounts of how they struggled to survive on meagre wages and faced physical violence and regular humiliation at the hands of their managers, who called them “whores” and “sluts”. The factory is owned and run by the Youngone Corporation, which supplies Lululemon.

Workers allege that:

  • Factory workers who break any rules or leave earlier than expected are verbally abused by management and hit. Some said they had been made to work despite ill-health

  • Some labourers are paid 9,100 taka a month (£85) – less than the price of one pair of their leggings, which sell for as much as £138.50. The sum is well below the 16,000 taka unions have been demanding and falls far short of living wage estimates

  • They are forced to work overtime to hit targets, saying they sometimes felt immense pressure not to leave their work stations

Lululemon said it has a strict code of practice, and does not tolerate any violations of this. The company said it would immediately launch an investigation. “There are currently no orders planned for this factory, and we will take appropriate action based upon the findings of our investigation,”...

One worker at the factory claimed she was slapped for leaving work early, after feeling unwell...

The company has upped its sales and profit outlook and is now forecasting that it will haul in $3.8bn (£3.02bn) to $3.84bn in sales in 2019...

Youngone Corporation said it is fully committed to providing a working environment in all its facilities that is safe, fair and just. It said employees are encouraged to share their opinion or launch a complaint through many different channels. The company said that when grievances have been found they have been addressed and led to disciplinary proceedings. An internal review has been launched.

Read the full post here

Related companies: Lululemon Athletica