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Published on Wednesday, 02 September 2009

Dutch CCC: starvation wages

Written by Stacey Dove

The Dutch branch of the Clean Clothes Campaign - Schone Kleren Campagne (SKC) - says that workers in India and Bangladesh are paid starvation wages producing garments for Dutch clothing brands.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports that SKC presented the results of research carried out in 17 factories where clothes are made for Dutch high street shops including C&A, M&S Mode, We, J.C. Rags, Miss Etam and Prénatal.

Employees in the garment industry in India work at least 70 hours a week for wages varying from 37 to 51 euros a month. In Bangladesh, many workers average 85 hours a week for 25 to 30 euros a month. In comparison, the average cost of housing, feeding and clothing a family with two children is 89 euros a month in Bangladesh and 103 euros a month in India.

In India many of the garment workers actually earn less than the official minimum wage and Bangladeshi women, who constitute 85% of the workforce, are paid less than their male colleagues.

The campaigners are appealing to the Dutch garment industry to help put an end to the pitiful working conditions in the clothing factories in India and Bangladesh. The SKC represents a number of organisations including Oxfam Novib, the trade union confederations FNV and CNV and the fair trade label Max Havelaar.

Source: Radio Worldwide Netherlands