Stories from around the world
Garment workers in Jordan are paid less than the legal minimum wage. Their status in special Qualified Industrial Zones makes them extremely vulnerable to abuse, and their legal status is completely dependent upon the whim and goodwill of their employers.
On 1 December 2013, seven migrant garment workers died and three were injured when a clothing factory in an industrial zone in the Italian town of Prato burned down. The workers from China had been sleeping in a cardboard dormitory above a warehouse in the Macrolotto industrial district of Prato, known for its large number of garment factories.
A Cambodian garment worker in Malaysia, working at a Nike supplier, was put in jail as soon as she (alledgedly) failed a health test.
China produces almost 20% of globally manufactured products. Its manufacturing sector represents over one third of its economic output and employs around 40% of China’s 240 million migrant workers. The manufacture of textile, garments, electronics and promotional goods represents a significant part of this output. However, behind the massive success story of China’s manufacturing sector lies an industry often based on exploitation of its vast workforce and systematic breaches of internationally recognised labour rights
In August 2013, long time CCC partner, the MAP Foundation in Thailand, publicized the outrageous proposal by a senior official at the Thai Ministry of Labour that migrant workers should be excluded from three key social security benefits available to workers – namely the right to maternity leave, child allowance and unemployment benefits.
The Brazilian Ministry of Labour estimates that 300,000 people work in slave-like conditions nationwide. The textile industry is among the top three industries with the highest incidence of slave-like labor, alongside agribusiness and construction.
For the first time, in 2012 migrant workers in the Mae Sot area successfully demanded wages in accordance with the new legal minimum wage. Factory owner M Apparel (one of Lee's suppliers) gave into the demand of 323 (mostly female) workers after negotiations with the workers who received support of MAP foundation and Yaung Chi Oo Worker Association.