Christmas shoppers stand to be taken by surprise this month as campaigners take action in shopping centers around Europe to raise awareness of poverty wages of Cambodian garment workers. With these ‘fashion mobs’, they pressure H&M, Inditex (Zara), Levi’s and Gap to introduce a living wage in Cambodia.
The ‘fashion mobs’ will take place in at least 10 countries all over Europe, among them Switzerland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland and Norway. In addition, the worker’s right network spreads their message through a European-wide social media campaign to ask retailers to improve the appalling wage conditions in the Asian country.
“The very low wages are one of the main challenges for garment workers in Cambodia. They see themselves forced to work very long hours, they do not earn sufficiently to buy enough nutritious food and are unable to satisfy the needs of their families. The bottom line is that the workers are paid poverty wages,” says Jeroen Merk of the International Clean Clothes Campaign.
The campaign aims to draw attention to the fact that whereas the minimum wage for garment workers is USD 61 a month this amounts to less than 25% of a living wage in Cambodia
The mobs are part of CCC’s campaign, ‘No More Excuses,’ in cooperation with the Cambodian trade union, demanding that the H&M and the other retailers/brands take a proactive role in paying a wage that allows its workers to live with dignity.
Previous campaign: Human-rights activists are staging flash “faint-ins” at high-street retailers across Europe to illustrate the high incidence of mass fainting in Cambodia’s apparel factories. Photo: Ecouterre.com