Shein Accused of Failing to Address Excessive Overtime and Low Wages

Shein's suppliers in China still make workers put in 75-hour weeks, despite the company's promises to address excessive overtime. Workers earn around $332/month, below China's living wage, and some factories employ young people performing simple tasks.

Aqsa Younas Rana
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Shein Accused of Failing to Address Excessive Overtime and Low Wages

Shein Accused of Failing to Address Excessive Overtime and Low Wages

More than a year after Chinese fast-fashion company Shein promised to promised, tackle, report excessive working hours in its supply chain, a new report by Swiss human rights advocacy group Public Eye suggests that the problem persists. Workers in some factories supplying Shein are still working 75-hour weeks, with staff working an average of 12 hours a day, excluding lunch and dinner breaks, and usually for six or seven days a week.

Why this matters: The exploitation of workers in the fast-fashion industry has far-reaching implications for labor rights and human dignity globally. If left unchecked, such practices can perpetuate a culture of exploitation and undermine efforts to promote fair labor standards and living wages.

The interviews, factory, employees, promises, make, im, based on interviews with 13 textile workers employed at six factories in Guangzhou, China, found that workers' wages had hardly changed since Public Eye's 2021 report, fluctuating between 6,000 and 10,000 yuan per month ($829 and $1,382). However, after deducting pay for overtime, wages fell to about 2,400 yuan ($332) a month, well below the 6,512 yuan ($900) living wage in China, according to the Asia Floor Wage Alliance.

One worker was quoted as saying, "I work every day from 8 in the morning to 10.30 at night and take one day off each month. I can't afford any more days off because it costs too much."

Shein has responded to the index, stating that it does "not recognize many of the allegations" and that the report is based on a small sample size. The company claims to be investing tens of millions of dollars to strengthen the governance and compliance of its suppliers, including a $15 million investment to upgrade hundreds of factories belonging to its suppliers.

However, Public Eye notes that Shein's code of conduct for supply, workers, hour, weeks states that staff must not work more than 60 hours per week, including overtime, and should have at least one day off a week. The advocacy group also observed young people, judged to be about 14 or 15 years old, performing simple tasks in some of the factories.

Founded in 2008, Shein has rapidly grown to become one of the biggest fashion retailers in the world. The company relies on thousands of third-party suppliers and contract manufacturers near its headquarters in Guangzhou, China. Shein's business model involves offering a wide range of cheap clothes, backed up by social media campaigns, allowing it to steps, plans, amid, reports, suppliers, still, wor new items in a matter of weeks rather than months.

The Public Eye report raises serious concerns about the working conditions and labor practices in Shein's supply chain. Despite the company's promises and investments, the investigation suggests that excessive overtime and low wages remain prevalent issues for many workers producing Shein's fast-fashion garments. As Shein continues its rapid global expansion, increased scrutiny and concrete actions will be crucial to ensuring fair treatment and living wages for the workers behind its trendy and affordable clothing.

Key Takeaways

  • Shein's suppliers still have workers doing 75-hour weeks, despite promises to improve.
  • Workers earn around $332/month, below China's living wage of $900.
  • Shein's code of conduct prohibits 75-hour weeks, but it's not being enforced.
  • Young workers, possibly as young as 14, were found working in some factories.
  • Shein's rapid growth and expansion have not led to improved labor practices.