Report: Top Retailers Pay Poverty Wages

H&M, Gap, others mislead public about plight of garment workers in Bangladesh
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2007 11:27 AM CDT
A Gap customer looks at Gap jeans at the Gap store in San Francisco, Monday, Aug. 20, 2007. Gap Inc. is expected to report second-quarter earnings after markets close, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007. (AP Photo/Paul...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – On the eve of London fashion week, a new report blasts clothing retailers for turning a blind eye to the poverty-level wages of their workers. Marks&Spencer, H&M, the Gap, and others are singled out for paying garments workers in Bangladesh such low wages that the workers must rely on government food parcels or go hungry, the Guardian reports.

The report, 'Let's Clean Up Fashion,' by two anti-sweatshop groups, also took retailers to task for not coming clean with the public about labor practices: Most clothing companies "continue to hoodwink the public by telling them that everything is fine." Retailers accused in the report countered that they require suppliers to pay workers at least the local minimum wage.