Gap and Old Navy claim they’ve deployed “corporate monitors” to audit working conditions. So how did those monitors miss out on 3,750 workers in Bangladesh routinely working over 100 hours a week at less than subsistence income?
The Institute of Global Labour Rights released a report that contradicts Gap and Old Navy’s claims to policing their supply chains. They investigated the Next Collections “Factory”---rightfully called a sweatshop.
Located on the outskirts of Dhaka, the factory is part of the Ha-Meem group, Bangladesh’s second largest garment exporter which owns 26 factories and employs over 30,000 workers. Approximately 70 of production at Next Collections is for Gap and Old Navy.
The report unveiled that:
- Next Collections workers are forced to toil 14- to 17-plus-hour shifts, seven days a week, routinely putting in workweeks of over 100 hours. Workers are visibly sick and exhausted from the grueling and excessive hours.
- Workers are paid in cash, off the books and cheated of 15 percent of their grueling overtime hours. Management hands out phony pay slips to pretend that Gap is in compliance with legal hours and wages.
- Workers live in miserable poverty in tiny primitive hovels, and earn just 20 to 24 cents per hour. By the third week in a month, most have no money left for food.
- Physical punishment and illegal firings are the norm. Pregnant women are illegally terminated and denied their legal paid maternity leave.
All of this to produce clothes like Old Navy’s “Super Skinny Pull-on Jeggings For Baby,” skintight pants for toddler girls sold in the U.S. for $14.94 (pictured).
What can you do to stand up against sweatshop labor, save lives, and prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy?
- Learn more: Read the report and learn more about abuses by Gap and Old Navy. Plus learn about the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles from Pax World in Women, Garment Work and Safety: Clothes to Die For?
- Take action with Green America: Tell leading clothing companies to protect sweatshop workers’ lives and end labor abuses »
- Get more resources: Read Green America’s resources about what you can do about sweatshop labor.