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2 Jul 2021

The Guardian

Report finds evidence of alleged wage theft in Primark, Nike and H&M supply chains

"‘Wage theft’ in Primark, Nike and H&M supply chain – report", 02 July 2021

Campaigners claim to have found evidence of “wage theft” in the supply chains of Primark, Nike and H&M in a report that outlines the devastating consequences of the pandemic on garment workers in Indonesia, Cambodia and Bangladesh.

Research by the Clean Clothes Campaign found that, while none of the brands had broken any laws, they had failed to ensure that their workers were properly paid throughout the pandemic.

Interviews with dozens of garment workers in Indonesia, Cambodia and Bangladesh discovered many had experienced periods in the last year when they had not been paid their full wages.

...There is a growing body of evidence that “wage theft” of poorly paid workers has occurred at a significant scale throughout the pandemic, linked to many of the world’s largest fashion brands. A Worker Rights Consortium report in April estimated that total severance theft during Covid-19, across the supply chains of global brands and retailers, was $500m to $850m (£360m-£620m).

...H&M and Nike said that workers in their supply chains had all been compensated in accordance with local legal requirements on wages. Primark said it was taking the findings of the report seriously and would welcome receiving any evidence of wage problems at the supplier factories named in the report.

...In November 2020, Primark’s owner, Associated British Foods, reported a £914m profit before tax for 2020. H&M Group announced an operating profit of 3,099m kronor (£262m) for 2020, and Nike’s net income for the year to 31 May 2021, was $5.7bn (£4.2bn).