Labour Behind the Label has released a new report, Let’s Clean up Fashion 2011: The state of pay behind the UK high street (LCUF).
With respect to a living wage on the high street, this is the 5th edition in a series of LCUF reports from LBL.
The findings have ranked Levi Strauss and Gap Inc. with a score of 1 out of 5 (along side H&M, and others), while Zara, Monson and NEXT were found with the highest scores at 3.5 out of 5.
According to LBL, initiatives taking living wage seriously must be grounded by four essential pillars:
- Taking a collaborative approach
- Worker organizing and freedom of association
- Examining commercial factors paying the cost
- Rolling it out: developing a route-map for sustaining a living wage
“The fact is that workers do speak out to demand better wages. At best they are often ignored; at worst they are persecuted, threatened, dismissed or harassed. Companies must do more to ensure respect for trade union rights in the quest to provide a living wage for garment workers.” (Labour Behind the Label, Let’s Clean Up Fashion 2011: Pg. 1)
Readers who have followed LBL’s LCUF reports in the past will likely be surprised to see Gap Inc. with such a low score, considering the company received one of the highest grades in the 2009 report. According to LBL:
“Gap plans to work on developing good management and human resource systems with suppliers, which are needed. However, Gap supplied no evidence of plans to translate this work into real wage gains for workers. More worryingly, it states its intention to focus mainly on the achievement of compliance with minimum wages. This shift seems to suggest Gap has given up any plans to work towards providing living wages to workers in its supply chain altogether. We hope this isn’t the case.” (Labour Behind the Label, Let’s Clean Up Fashion 2011: Pg. 28)
LBL has created on online petition calling on Gap and H&M to do more. Click here to take action.
For readers on twitter who’d like to spread the word, here are some suggested tweets via LBL:
- Which highstreet brands are doing most to improve pay & conditions for workers? Find out from Let’s Clean up Fashion: http://bit.ly/lcuf2011
- Who’s ethical on the highstreet? Find out in the NEW edition of Let’s Clean up Fashion: http://bit.ly/lcuf2011 @labourlabel
- Enough to feed your family – too much to ask? Gap & H&M seem to think so. Take action to ask them to reconsider: http://bit.ly/r3zw2O