International Desk : The living wage for workers in India is Euro 256 (about Rs19,000). A recent interview of workers at garment factories that were manufacturing for sales in the Netherlands found that more than a third of workers were paid less than 100 euros (about Rs7,500).
The survey results were published in the report ‘Doing Dutch: Research into the state of pay for workers in garment factories in India working for Dutch fashion brands’. Human rights organization India Committee of the Netherlands has now begun a petition in Dutch appealing to people to buy only clothes that are not produced by exploiting poor labourers
“Most workers cannot properly support their families with this wage. Food and housing, usually a one-room apartment without water tap, with a shared toilet outdoors, are the biggest expenses. Almost everyone would like to buy healthier and more varied food, but is unable to do that because of low wages,” said a press release issued on Tuesday by Gerard Oonk, director, India Committee of the Netherlands.
“The factories produce garments for the Dutch brands C&A, Coolcat, G-Star, McGregor, MEXX, Scotch & Soda, Suitsupply, The Sting (Mills Brothers, Hallinger) and WE Fashion. The reason these brands have emerged, is a coincidence. Brands are not transparent about where their garments are made. So, to be able to deal with ten factories producing for Dutch brands, our researchers asked around at several factories until they found these ten factories. The results of the study are representative for the working conditions in India. All brands which manufacture clothes in India will have to deal with the problems described in the report,” the press release said.
The report said 80% of garment factory workers were women, who were more docile than men. When pregnant, they were often pressured to resign. Women with children were discouraged from working.