Appalling working conditions and poverty pay are still common in the supply chains of global sportswear brands, according to a new report by the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation (ITGLWF).
The report investigates working conditions in factories supplying major brands such as Adidas, Dunlop, GAP, Nike, Speedo, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and others. Researchers explored conditions at 83 factories employing over 100,000 workers. Not one of these factories paid a living wage to their workforce. Many didn’t even pay the legal minimum wage. The report highlights the fact that the majority of these workers are women.
Despite years of consumer campaigning, and numerous initiatives by companies claiming to be tackling the problem of abuses in their supply chains, the report shows conditions are, in many ways getting worse. The increased use of flexible and temporary labour makes it easier for employers to dodge holiday pay, sick pay and written contracts. It also poses a real challenge for trade unions, as it is difficult to recruit and organise in a situation where workers have no job security and are fearful their contracts will not be renewed.