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28 May 2020

Sabrina Toppa, The Guardian

Pakistan: Police clash with garment workers protesting job losses and unpaid wages as they bear the brunt of cancelled orders

“Fast fashion: Pakistan garment workers fight for rights amid Covid-19 crisis”, 27 May 2020

Police in Karachi last week allegedly shot at hundreds of unarmed garment workers protesting outside a factory supplying denim for global fashion brands.

… [A]ccording to … the National Trade Union Federation. He said some workers had been terminated without written notice.

… Closures and job losses and the suspension of the normal holiday bonus … had left many of the demonstrators close to despair.

Basit, 35, who works at the factory where the protests took place, told the Guardian he hadn’t been paid since March. “We’re insecure workers and we can be fired at any time,” he said.

Factory production has slowed dramatically across the country, with global fashion brands reducing or eliminating orders … suppliers … are passing the impact along to … labourers living on meagre wages, campaigners say.

In Lahore, hundreds of garment workers were reported to have organised a strike last week against the non-payment of salaries at multiple factories and activists claim factory owners are treating workers as expendable commodities…