Spread the love

AMSTERDAM – Garment workers in Turkey earn just a quarter of the living wage, claims a new study, with soaring inflation leaving many struggling financially. Clean Clothes Campaign Turkey (CCC Turkey) investigated working and wage conditions of garment workers in Istanbul and Izmir – the two major centres of clothing assembly in Turkey. By interviewing hundreds of workers the researchers learnt garment workers are, “barely able to sustain themselves.” The NGO claims the situation that has been ongoing since Turkey became a major fashion exporter in the 1980s, and has worsened in recent years due to the pandemic and soaring inflation.

This is Premium Content


Only user with Online and Print subscription can access this.


If you are a Free Subscriber, click here to upgrade.



If you already have Online or Print subscription Login To Unlock The Content!

1.5 million workers in Turkey make garments for many global fashion brands, including: Adidas, Banana Republic, Benetton, Boohoo, C&A, Esprit, GAP, G-star, Hugo Boss, H&M, Zara, Levi’s, Marks & Spencer, Next, Nike, Puma, Primark, Urban Outfitters, and VF.

The top five export destinations for clothing made in Turkey are Germany, Spain, UK, Netherlands and France.

In recent months, Clean Clothes claims extreme inflation has made it even harder for workers to make ends meet. Increases in the statutory minimum wage have not compensated for the falling purchasing power of wages. The minimum wage only covers a quarter of what is needed for basic living expenses, claims Clean Clothes’ report, which found that one in three garment workers earns just the legal minimum wage – even with overtime. The minimum wage currently in Turkey is 4.253 TRY or 241 EUR net, but a basic living wage would be at least 13.000 TRY or 880 EUR (for January 2022), states CCC Turkey. Calculations by the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (TÜRK-İŞ) have found similar results.

Bego Demir, CCC Turkey’s coordinator, states that “due to hyperinflation, garment workers in Turkey are confronted with the insoluble problem of sustaining their families. The state gives incentives to employers, but it doesn’t control the implementation of labour law in the sector. This research shows that the Turkish government must meet its monitoring obligations to make sure the law is fulfilled. All brands that have their supply chain in Turkey also must make sure all the workers behind their products reach all their rights.”

Clean Clothes claims that an effective EU-supply chain law would “enhance the protection of workers rights also in Turkey. Workers would no longer depend on the mercy of brands.”

This is Premium Content


Only user with Online and Print subscription can access this.


If you are a Free Subscriber, click here to upgrade.



If you already have Online or Print subscription Login To Unlock The Content!



Spread the love

Designed and Maintained by Your IT Crew