Left Menu
Development News Edition

Global garment workers exploited as big brands pressure suppliers - report

Reuters | Updated: 31-10-2018 17:04 IST | Created: 31-10-2018 17:04 IST

By Anuradha Nagaraj

CHENNAI, India, Oct 31 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - P ressure by big brands on suppliers to deliver more quickly and cheaply contributes to labour abuses in factories that manufacture garments, footwear and textiles, according to a report published on Wednesday.

More than half the suppliers surveyed were affected by cost negotiation strategies that cut into their profits, according to the report by Better Buying, a Delaware-based group that rates purchasing practices of brands and retailers.

Suppliers, in turn, put pressure on workers, leading to abuses, according to the research, which was funded primarily by the C&A Foundation, a funding partner of the Thomson Reuters Foundation for human trafficking and slavery coverage.

The impacts on workers include excessive overtime, underpayment of benefits, insufficient wages, and use of unauthorized sub-contractors, said Doug Cahn, a Better Buying co-founder.

"Understanding and reducing the negative impacts of purchasing practices is the missing link in the movement to ensure decent conditions of work in supply chains," Cahn said in an email.

The index included ratings from 319 suppliers across 38 countries and measured the performance of 67 retailers and brands, including Esprit, Nike and Gap.

Supplier ratings indicated that one third of buyers did not pay bulk order invoices on time, according to the report.

More than 20 percent of the orders received from retailers or brands were not priced to cover the cost of social, environmental, quality, and other compliance requirements.

"These practices create challenges for suppliers to pay their workers adequately and on time," said Jill Tucker, Head of Supply Chain Innovation & Transformation at the C&A Foundation.

"We hope that with type of insight, buyers will change their practices in a way that make it possible for benefits to trickle down to workers."

Pressure to deliver quickly has prompted the Tirupur Exporters Association to request workers in India's textile hub in Tamil Nadu state to take only one or two days off during the upcoming Diwali festival, rather than the entire week.

"The peak manufacturing season clashes with two big festivals - Diwali and Pongal," said Raja M Shanmugham, the association's president.

Diwali, a Hindu celebration of lights, falls on Nov. 6 and 7, but workers traditionally take the whole week off, while the harvest festival of Pongal is in January.

Buyers will cancel orders if deliveries are delayed, putting financial strain on suppliers, Shanmugham told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

(Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)



Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Rwanda’s COVID-19 response commendable but health information system needs improvement

Rwanda is consistently working to improve its health information system from many years. However, it is primarily dependent on the collection and reporting of health data on a monthly basis. Besides, evaluation studies on Rwandas HIS publis...


Latest News

Punjab reports 1,498 new COVID-19 cases, 66 deaths

A total of 1,498 new COVID-19 cases and 66 deaths were reported in Punjab, said State Health Department on Tuesday. The total count of cases has gone up to 1,01,341 in the state.As per the official data, the total count of COVID-19 cases in...

COVID-19: J-K govt to install 150 CCTVs to monitor GMC hospital performance

The Jammu and Kashmir administration will install 150 CCTV cameras in government medical college GMC hospital, a dedicated COVID-19 facility here, to closely monitor its performance, officials said. Authorities have also directed top health...

Get HSRP, colour-coded stickers, checking to begin soon: Delhi transport dept to vehicle owners

The Delhi governments transport department on Tuesday asked owners of vehicles registered before April 2019 to affix them with high security registration plates and colour-coded stickers, saying a drive will be launched soon to check for th...

Majority of retailers expect festive season biz to be down by 25 pc: Report

A majority of retailers expect festive season business this year to be down by 25 per cent compared to last year due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic and many of them are considering cancelling or deferring orders due to reduced festiv...

Give Feedback