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Report

31 Dec 2018

Author:
Workers Rights Consortium

Ethiopia: Investigation reveals wages as low as $0.12 per hour & labour rights abuses in garment factories producing for major brands

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""Ethiopia is a North Star" Grim conditions and miserable wages guide apparel brands in their race to the bottom", 31 December 2018

...The investigation included in-depth interviews with garment workers at four export factories producing for leading brands. It reveals wages that are lower... than those in any other significant exporting country and grim working conditions that bear little resemblance to the standards the brands claim to be upholding in their supply chains...

...Three of the four factories the WRC investigated produce for H&M, two of the four for PVH. According to news reports, PVH is an investor of one of those facilities. Other buyers sourcing from at least one of these facilities include: Walmart, The Children’s Place, and Gerber Children’s Wear...

[T]he WRC’s investigation ... uncovered... draconian wage deductions, exacted as punishment for minor disciplinary infractions; degrading verbal abuse of workers by their supervisors; discrimination against pregnant workers; a high incidence of workers collapsing unconscious at their workstations, due to overwork and other factors; and forced overtime; among other violations of law and buyer codes. All of the abuses... constitute violations of the brands’ and retailers’ own labor standards...

Our investigation also found the lowest wages the WRC has documented in any garment exporting country in recent years: wages as low as US$0.12 per hour, less than US$25 per month... Wage Indicator’s Living Wage Series... estimates that a living wage in Ethiopia is between $US0.54 and $US0.93 per hour...

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