Hugo Boss targeted over labour violations in Europe
Campaigners around Europe are targeting fashion label Hugo Boss over reported labour violations in factories in Turkey and Croatia.
The protests coincide with Hugo Boss' press and analysts’ conference in Metzingen where the company will announce its financial results.
About half of Hugo Boss clothes are made in factories in Europe and a report from campaigning organisation Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) showed that there is a huge gap between the actual wages of garment workers and a living wage. Most workers earn below the poverty line. Moreover workers reported union busting, intimidation, no observance of overtime regulation and sexual harassment.
While some workers at a Turkish Hugo Boss supplier earned €326 on average including overtime and bonusses, CCC says that the national poverty threshold would be €401 and a minimum living wage would be €890.
Bettina Musiolek from Clean Clothes Campaign commented: "'Made in Europe“ should mean that workers escape from poverty and do not have to be afraid to join a union. But on the contrary: "Made in Europe“ creates poverty and prevents people from exercising their political freedoms. Hugo Boss can and should step up to put an end to these gross violations. A real BOSS pays a living wage."
Hugo Boss has refuted the allegations. It issued a statement saying: "Neither the statements regarding our company-owned production facility in Izmir correspond with the facts, nor is the information concerning the legal issues referring to former employees accurate.
"On the contrary. Both, the wages and the overtime hours in our production facility in Izmir are clearly outlined. Average wages are significantly above the customary local wages and the working environment in our facility is excellent. Accordingly, over 90 percent of our local employees confirmed in an anonymous survey that they are more than satisfied with the working environment and benefits provided.
"Aside from the provision of good salaries and extensive social benefits, there are also excellent training and career opportunities. Furthermore, our employees have access to canteens and numerous recreational and sports offers on site, which are all free of charge. For these reasons, Hugo Boss is one of the most attractive employers in the region of Izmir."
Picture credit: Hugo Boss