Workers of Luxury Brands in India Exploited
The Print
Nov 30, 2020

Workers in Indian factories supplying goods to supermarket chains such as Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Ralph Lauren have alleged that they are being exploited.

According to a BBC report published on 17th November 2020. The workers in Indian factories supplying goods to supermarket chains such as Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Ralph Lauren have alleged that they are exploited. The BBC interviewed people in these factories but withheld their names along with the  factories’ names to protect the workers’ safety. A woman working in a factory that supplied clothes to luxury brand Ralph Lauren said, “We are made to work continuously, often through the night, sleeping at 3 am then waking up by 5 am for another full day. Our bosses don’t care. They are only bothered about production,”

One of the women workers at a factory supplying Marks & Spencer said, “We don’t get toilet breaks, we don’t get time to drink water on shift. We barely get time to eat lunch.” A worker said, “They have increased our workload. We are forced to stay late to finish it or they yell at us and threaten to fire us. We are scared as we don’t want to lose our jobs.” The worker added that sometimes a manager would stand behind the workers in the canteen and blow a whistle to send everyone back to work. They were made to work overtime and stopped from going home until the work was completed. A widow worker said, “They ask us to work so late I can’t even feed my children at night. They should not treat us like slaves, they should give us respect.” According to BBC’s report, the factories seem to violate India’s Factories Act, which states that no worker should exceed more than 48 hours a week (or 60 hours with overtime). Workers should also not be made to work for over nine hours in a day. The report also said that all the workers they spoke to said they lived in impoverished conditions and had difficulty to survive on their salaries. All four brands, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Ralph Lauren told the BBC they were concerned about the allegations made and would investigate the matter.