Wage theft and pandemic profits:  the right to a living wage for garment workers

Descriptive information
Research report

Published March 2021 by Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC). Authored by Khambay, A. and Narayanasamy, T.

Summary

Brands’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the decline in global demand for apparel has exacerbated the pre-existing and profound power imbalance between global fashion brands and their factory suppliers and workers. While the majority of brands have recorded large pandemic profits, widespread non-payment of wages, benefits and severance pay have left garment workers struggling to feed themselves and their families, pay rent and medical bills.  This report features eight case studies from Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, involving allegations of unpaid wages and benefits (wage theft) linked to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting over 9,800 garment workers. It calls for a just recovery to address the scale of COVID-19’s impacts on garment workers, but also to redress the pre-existing imbalance of power inherent to the fashion industry which has permitted and sustained the economic exploitation of millions of workers for decades.

Research detail

Wage theft and pandemic profits:  the right to a living wage for garment workers

Descriptive information
Research report

Published March 2021 by Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC). Authored by Khambay, A. and Narayanasamy, T.

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