India: factories working for H&M, Zara and Nike refuse to pay minimal salary to their workers

La industria de la moda nunca está libre de polémica, sobre todo, en lo que a materia laboral se refiere. Una denuncia reciente del Consorcio para los Derechos de los Trabajadores (WRC), una organización que vela por los derechos laborales de los empleados en el mundo, encontró que en algunas fábricas de H&M, Zara y Nike en la India se niegan a pagar el salario mínimo a sus trabajadores.India: Fábricas que trabajan para H&M, Zara y Nike se niegan a pagar salario mínimo a sus trabajadores India: Fábricas que trabajan para H&M, Zara y Nike se niegan a pagar salario mínimo a sus trabajadores

The workers of the clothing clothing for large world brands in the Indian state of Karnataka claim that their families go hungry because the factories refuse to pay them a legal minimum wage. Karnataka es uno de los centros de la industria india de la confección, con miles de fábricas que producen ropa para marcas y minoristas como Puma, Nike, Zara, Tesco, C&A, Gap, Marks & Spencer y H&M.

The complaint, made by WRC calculates that the total amount of unpaid wages amounts to about US $ 55 million, and that more than 400.000 Confection workers do not charge the minimum wage in Karnataka since at least April 2020.The British newspaper The Guardian was able to talk with one of the affected workers, who revealed that only half of what he needs to cover the basic expenses of life, such as food and rent.


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«If the salary had risen last year, we would have eaten vegetables at least several times a month.This year, I have only fed my family with rice and chutney sauce, ”said the worker.When he tried to talk to the managers they threw an ultimatum: «This is what we pay for doing here.If you don't like it, you can leave ».

India: Fábricas que trabajan para H&M, Zara y Nike se niegan a pagar salario mínimo a sus trabajadores

Scott Nova, executive director of the WRC, said: «In terms of the number of affected workers and the total amount of stolen money, this is the most atrocious payroll theft that we have ever seen.The children of the clothing factories are starving so that brands can earn money «.

Within the minimum wage policy, the variable part depends on what the cost of living rises.In India, this varying benefit for a shortage increased to 417 rupees per month in April 2020, which is equivalent to almost 5.55 dollars.This supplement has not been paid for workers since it was approved 20 months ago, so that each employee is owed more than 8.300 rupees, about $ 111.Taking into account that the minimum wage in India does not exceed $ 50 per month, it is a considerable figure.

Blind eyes and deaf ears

Nova said that "indifference and inaction" of all brands that buy clothes in the region with respect to the situation facing the female work, mostly poor, is "shameful and brutal".He affirmed that, despite the insistent WRC demands during the last two years, Western brands have refused to intervene or have not taken any measure to ensure that preparation workers receive remuneration according to Indian legislation.

Dress suppliers claim that the Ministry of Labor and Employment of India issued a proclamation to suspend the minimum salary increase shortly after it entered into force in April 2020, and that it is still pending in the courts of Karnataka aDERMANCE RELATING TO THE CLAIM OF THE INCREASE.

However, last September, the Supreme Court of Karnatak.According to the WRC, clothing suppliers are the only industrial sector of Karnataka that refuses to comply with the court order.

Karnataka workers, whose names are not mentioned to protect them, said that the lack of salary increases in the increase in the cost of life has had devastating consequences for their own lives and those of their families, especially those of their children.


According to the original report, Inditex, owner of Zara, only declared to handle a code of ethics on its suppliers. Por otro lado, marcas como H&M, The Gap, Puma y otros en el reporte, afirmaron que se habían puesto en contacto con los proveedores en Karnataka para que pagaran a los trabajadores el salario mínimo legal, incluyendo todos los atrasos, y que esperaban que el problema se resolviera «de inmediato».

As far as all the marks indicated, it is that "wages must always be enough to meet at least the basic needs of workers and their families" must always be enough.

Tags: C&AgaphmMarks & SpencerNikePumatescoZara