Garment Workers Fight Back
UNIQLO makes much of its ‘ethical’ credentials, yet the grim reality facing garment workers in factories supplying UNIQLO falls far short of the fashion giant’s rhetoric.
China has long led a race to the bottom on wages and conditions in garment factories in China and UNIQLO continues to take advantage at the expense of garment workers.
SACOM's undercover investigations have exposed the horrifying conditions in Chinese factories producing for fashion giant UNIQLO. Read War on Want's new report: This Way to Dystopia: Exposing UNIQLO’s Abuse of Chinese Garment Workers
TAKE ACTION: Stand with workers to demand UNIQLO take action
UNIQLO’s billionaire CEO Tadashi Yanai is the richest man in Japan yet his factory workers are paid a pittance, face dreadful conditions and are blocked when they try to improve them.
UNIQLO confirmed SACOM’s findings and committed to improving conditions, but little has changed.
Hundreds of workers in two UNIQLO supplier factories – Artigas factory in China and Zhong Yin factory in Cambodia – have been sacked simply for organising collectively to improve their working conditions. Worse still, they have all been denied wages and pensions they are owed.
Garment workers have gone out on strike, protested and directly asked UNIQLO for their unpaid wages and their right to collectively negotiate. They are being ignored.
Without access to UNIQLO’s factory list, working conditions in their other supplier factories in China, Bangladesh and
Cambodia can’t be verified. Other fashion brands have released their factory lists, it’s time for UNIQLO to step up and do this too.
Student and Scholars against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) is a nonprofit organisation founded in Hong Kong in 2005. It originated as a students’ movement and now aims to bring front line workers, concerned students, scholars, labour activists and consumers together to fight for a workplace in which workers can work with dignity, receive fair wages for their labour, and be leaders in the workplace. SACOM is especially devoted to the investigation and advocacy of labour rights in the garment, electronics and toys industries, and has campaigned against global brands including Disney, Apple, American Eagle and UNIQLO.
Worker Empowerment is a labour organization that seeks to empower Chinese migrant workers to defend their rights by raising awareness among workers of the rights they are entitled to and equipping them with the skills and knowledge to challenge abuses by employers. War on Want supports the activities of the WE labour rights centre in Shenzhen, which provides support and education and to organise migrant workers. Through its support, workers have taken legal action seeking justice in courts and factory plants.
Workers active participation and empowerment is fundamental to the centre’s activities. WE arranges for trained workers to provide peer-to-peer Labour Law advice to others workers. There are also workers’ groups focusing on different areas such as policy advocacy and occupational health and safety. WE has gained rich experience on labour education over the past six years and believes this to be essential to strengthening the labour movement.