Clean Clothes Campaign has encouraged brands to help suppliers to ensure that employees have safe workplaces and transportation, including safe distance between employees and the availability of protective equipment revealed by workers’ surveys.
A startling investigation by the Clean Clothes Initiative and Germany-based Bread for the Planet reveals that about 120,000 workers across Europe are forced to work in high-risk conditions following closures in the workplace worldwide. No Eu law is yet in place to ensure brands and retailers respect human rights through supply chains and ban unfair and inhumane trade practices.
In Serbia, Ukraine, Croatia and Bulgaria, employees are still working for far less than a living wage for German fashion brands including Hugo Boss, Gerry Weber, Esprit, as well as German supermarket and drugstore chains. In spite of the current pandemic, factory managers continue to force workers to report to work despite the high risk of infection of Covid-19 and in contravention of international guidelines.
Wages of garment workers remain extremely low in the Eastern and South Eastern Europe manufacturing industries. A Ukrainian tailor will earn around 126 Euro per month, leaving no room to save money for contingencies such as the current Covid-19 crisis.
Even the meager wage is actually not charged because in Germany clothing firms cancel and factories shut down, not in order to protect workers, but because work does not exist. Employees indicated that they are now forced to go on unpaid leave to Clean Clothes Drive, leaving those already on the poverty line in even more desperate circumstances.