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$ 12 bn payments pending for Asian garment workers

Jul 21, 2021
$ 12 bn payments pending for Asian garment workers

Asia

According to a new report by the Clean Clothes Campaign, Asian garment workers are owed almost $ 12 billion in unpaid income and severance in the first year of the pandemic.

The report named ‘Still Un(der)paid’, estimates that workers are owed $ 11.85 billion for the period from March 2020 through March 2021 as employers withheld or reduced wages and international fashion brands and retailers cancelled orders, refused to pay for goods or demanded price reductions.

The Clean Clothes Campaign said that it estimated its wage gap figures based on available information such as statements from employers, industry and worker surveys, and media reports. As per the report, an estimated 1.6 million garment workers were dismissed across Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Pakistan.

The Campaign stated that many dismissed workers were not paid their full legal entitlements to severance pay, and those on furlough were only paid a small percentage of their usual wages.

Workers in all researched countries, except Indonesia, had lost pay equivalent to almost twice the average monthly wage.

The Clean Clothes Campaign is calling on apparel brands to negotiate an enforceable agreement to assure wages, establish a severance guarantee fund and ensure respect for basic labour rights.

According to Ineke Zeldenrust from the Clean Clothes Campaign, not enough has been done to help workers despite over 100 fashion brands joining together in a ‘Call to Action’ for the garment industry since the beginning of the pandemic.

Source: Fashion United

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