Alerts

International Label Children’s Clothing Made Under Slave-like Conditions in Bangladesh

March, 10 2015 Share

At Jeans Plus Ltd, over 1,000 workers, mostly young women,
are routinely beaten and forced to toil 94 to 101 hours, seven days a week.

Jeans Plus sweatshop workers make “Pull & Bear” stretch trousers for the Spanish giant, Inditex, which has over 885 Pull & Bear stores in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

The Turkish company LC Waikiki is making clothing for 6 to 9-month old infants at Jeans Plus.  LC Waikiki is headquartered in Istanbul and has over 500 stores across Europe.

 

Slave-like Conditions at Jeans Plus in Bangladesh

  • Jeans Plus production manager, Mr. Jahid, routinely slaps and punches young women workers for failing to meet their excessive production goals—typically 150 pieces per hour.
  • The workers are forced to toil from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 or 11:00 p.m., six days a week, while on Fridays, their supposed weekly holiday, they are required to work from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 or 6:00 p.m.  The workers, 80 percent of whom are young women, are forced to toil 94 to 101 hours each week.
  • Pregnant women are routinely fired and thrown out of the factory without any of their legally required maternity benefits.
  • There is no medical doctor in the factory.
  • Factory bathrooms are filthy.
  • Management issues phony pay stubs, which are meant to fool the gullible international buyers.
  • A senior sewing operator earns just 41 cents (U.S.) per hour.
  • Factory management robs the workers of their “earned leave” (vacation) money.
 
 Jeans Plus factory in Savar, Bangladesh


It Does Not Have to Be This Way

Inditex and LC Waikiki Must Improve Conditions

 

Inditex is one of the world’s largest fashion retailers with 6,570 stores throughout the world and some 133,400 employees.  The company’s sales revenues were $22.9892 billion in 2013.

 

Inditex claims:

All of the Group’s suppliers are bound by the social and environmental responsibility values that define Inditex and are enshrined in our Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers.” (Inditex, Sustainability)

Inditex’s Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers includes:

  • No forced labor
  • No child labor
  • No discrimination
  • Respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • No harsh or inhumane treatment
  • Workplace health and hygiene
  • The right to remuneration
  • Reasonable working hours
  • Living wage

“[Audit teams] are tasked with verifying that all of the group’s suppliers comply with the Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers and providing guidance to suppliers looking to make their factories safer and more sustainable.”(Our Compliance Program, Inditex)

Social to wear.  We invest socially to strengthen ties with the communities in which we do business.”

“Green to wear.  Environmental considerations play a key role in all of Inditex’s business activities.” (Sustainability, Inditex)

Inditex’s “Pull & Bear” label is sold in 64 countries, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and United Kingdom.


LC Waikiki is Turkey’s popular fashion brand, up-and-coming in Eastern Europe and the Middle East

Headquartered in Istanbul, LC Waikiki has been in business for over 18 years.  Today there are 506 LC Waikiki stores located in 23 countries throughout Eastern Europe and the Middle East including Turkey, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Syria, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Kazakhstan, Russia, Bulgaria, Iraq, Egypt, Georgia, Ukraine, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, employing some 20,000 international staff. 

LC Waikiki’s total sales reached $2.5 billion (USD) in 2013 and, according to the company, are growing by 40 percent a year.  LC Waikiki plans to become “one of the top three most successful clothing retailers in Europe by 2023.”

CEO, Ms. Smail K. Sac, believes that “‘Everyone deserves to dress well’ enabling people to enjoy accessible fashion through quality products at affordable prices.”

According to the company’s website, LC Waikiki’s main values include:

  • “To act fairly and honestly.”
  • “To carry out implementations in compliance with legal and ethical rules.”
  • “To have the will and courage to take action instead of complaining.”
  • “To provide freedom of expression and criticism which do not include any insults.”

The U.S.-based Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights has seen LC Waikiki production in many Bangladeshi factories.  Surely, the LC Waikiki label has a positive role to play, including cleaning up the Bangladeshi sweatshop Jeans Plus Limited and allowing the workers to have a voice, with dignity and justice.

We urge LC Waikiki to assist the Bangladeshi garment workers in improving their lives by assuring that they are able to exercise their fundamental internationally recognized rights.  This would be a major step forward.

 

 

Take action! Tell Inditex and LC Waikiki to clean up Jeans Plus factory in Bangladesh!