Feb 4, 2016
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Working conditions: finger pointed at Poland and the Czech Republic

Feb 4, 2016

Is 'Made in Europe' manufacturing a synonym of a better work ethic? It isn't, replied the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) NGO, pointing the finger at the ongoing use of forced overtime, contempt for the minimum wage and institutionalised climate of fear in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The minimum net wage was found to be respectively €312 and €390 in Poland and the Czech Republic, countries where, according to NGOs, the minimum subsistence threshold is €1,032 and €980. Wages actually paid in the apparel industry in these countries appear to be the lowest in the entire manufacturing sector, according to the CCC.

Added to this, there are several cases of forced overtime demanded by businesses which aren't prepared to pay for it, and which threaten their workers, mostly women, with the prospect of unemployment, endemic in these countries.

The report explicitly mentioned Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein and Schiesser, their local suppliers' employees describing how it is impossible to earn a minimum living wage with their normal working hours. "The refusal to pay a decent wage is not merely against the law, it is also a violation of human rights and of the workers' dignity," said the CCC.

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