Reports allege poor working conditions in shoe supply chains in Eastern Europe; company responses included
The recently released reports by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), “Labour on a Shoestring” and “Trampling Workers Rights Underfoot”, as well as the initiative “Change your Shoes” demonstrate the responsibility for respecting human rights for shoe brands and their suppliers.
The reports found widespread denial of labour rights, including a living wage. For example interviews with 179 shoe workers from factories in 6 countries - Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia - found that most are not paid minimum wages.
Through the use of questions provided by the reports' authors to Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, we reached out to a total of 28 firms mentioned in the reports. The companies were asked for information regarding their efforts and work in the area of sustainability and social responsibility, precisely on sourcing policies with regard to Eastern Europe:
1) Does your company source from Eastern Europe? If yes, from which countries and what are the shares?
2) How does your company assess the wage levels and make sure that the amount it pays is enough for a decent wage?
3) What wages does your company pay at its 5 top suppliers? Please, specify countries.
4) What wages does your company pay at factories in Eastern Europe, including Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia?
5) How does your company make sure that the piece rate system is not leading to abuses such as unpaid overtime, hurdles to use PPEs?
6) How does the company make sure that PPE is provided? Is your company aware of the issues described in "Labour on a shoestring" report, such as hot/cold temperatures, fainting, etc.? If yes, what does the company do about it?
The companies' responses and non-responses are provided below.
Responses from 14 companies: Adidas, Bata, Birkenstock, Clarks, Deichmann, ECCO, Eurosko, Geox Mango, Manor, Migros, LederundSchuh, Lowa, Nilson
Non-responses from 14 companies: Ferragamo, Tods, Vögele, Ara, Bally, Gabor, El Naturalista, Prada, Navyboot, Pasito-Fricker, Rieker, Wojas, CCC, Camper