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Widespread mistreatment, unpaid overtime & bullying reported at Romanian & Bulgarian garment factories; Includes comments from Benetton & Hugo Boss

Author: Elisa Oddone, Al Jazeera, Published on: 23 September 2019

"Made in Eastern Europe: Garment workers denied basic rights", 22 September 2019

On...the outskirts of Covasna...garment factory workers who were recently made redundant launched a protest outside...the Textile Blue Wash factory...they demanded their jobs back and called for salaries...to be paid...

...the general manager...said he would pay the workers...Two months on, those promises are yet to be fulfilled...

...according to activists, a large number of Romanian garment workers are living on the poverty line, earning below the minimum wage as they are regularly abused by their bosses...

...Hugo Boss...said there was no "direct business relationship", and the Benetton Group said it stopped its collaboration in July 2017...

..."Production depended on the jeans orders, sometimes we produced hundreds of items per day. We had breaks, though we skipped them. We were not allowed to go to the bathroom during our shifts..."...

...This system of exploitation relies on a legal framework, which hinders trade unions by limiting their access to factory premises....

...[In] Bulgaria's garment...sector...Unpaid salaries...have seen protests erupt. To avoid poor working conditions and the lowest minimum gross salary across Europe...many women have started working remotely, from home...

..." [In the factory] There was no proper lighting, no windows. It felt like being in a bunker. Managers were yelling and screaming at the workers. We worked non-stop, also preparing the packaging and skipping lunch."...

Read the full post here

Related companies: Benetton Hugo Boss