As Ivanka Trump championed women in the workforce during a roundtable discussion last month, female workers in the Chinese factory that manufactures her clothing line were being paid below minimum wage and working in potentially dangerous conditions.
The facility is contracted to G-III Apparel Group who hold the exclusive license to make Ivanka Trump brand clothes, as well as items for Calvin Kline and many other high-end brands.
An independent monitoring group “The Fair Labor Association, earn” audited the factory in October and found that staff sometimes worked over 60 hours a week to make $62 while the average urban factory worker in a similar setting earn around twice as much.
Workers are regularly expected to work at least 57 hours in order to meet their production quotas and despite the fact Chinese law sets a limit of 36 hours overtime per worker a month, inspectors found that staff across the board regularly worked up to 82 hours per month over time.
It is important to remember that in these cases overtime is not a voluntary option that sover timepily take to increase the size of their pay packet. It is required of all staff and often only brings a wage up to a barely livable level.
In addition the factory is legally mandated to contribute to an affordable housing for workers fund, which it failed to do and less than a third of staff had the required benefits coverage including, pensions, work related injury payments and unemployment insurance. There was no union representation, and no option for any and the average annual leave was just five days in the year.
Safety concerns were raised over occupational disease hazards, missing safety equipment and a lack of staff training as well as the first aid station that consisted of only cotton swabs and band-aids. In all, there were 24 violations of the UN’s International Labor Organisation on top of the Chinese legal system violations.
It would seem that while making America Great Again the Trump brand has chosen to provide manufacturing jobs to the Chinese in conditions that are illegal and internationally unacceptable, but at least it is bringing women into the workforce eh?
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