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KARNATAKA – Major global apparel brands are turning a blind eye to wage theft from garment workers in their Indian supply chains, new research indicates. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) claims garment factory staff in Karnataka making clothes for the likes of Puma, Nike, Gap and H&M have lost out on an estimated US$55m because manufacturing bosses in the region have failed to implement a ‘variable dearness allowance’ – introduced to reflect the rising cost of living – into pay packets. 

In April 2020, a minimum wage increase went into effect in the Indian state of Karnataka, one of the country’s largest centres of garment manufacturing. Yet rights groups claim garment factory owners producing for leading apparel brands have refused to pay, leading to 400,000 garment workers across over a thousand factories being cheated of the legal minimum wage.

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