British online fashion group Boohoo is probing Pakistan suppliers over ‘underpaid’ staff. It was investigating a Guardian newspaper report that its suppliers were underpaying workers in Pakistan. Meanwhile, the brand faced a similar scandal in the UK.
The Guardian reported that workers at two factories in Faisalabad were earning Rs10,000, or £47 ($62), a month. Moreover, it said the monthly minimum for such work was Rs17,500.
The British daily added that it had video and photographic evidence of possible safety issues in the workplace.
However, Boohoo said it had called upon audit and compliance specialists Bureau Veritas to investigate the claims.
“As we have previously stated, we will not tolerate any instance of mistreatment or underpayment of garment workers,” said Boohoo.
Earlier this year, it was reported that one of Boohoo’s suppliers in England paid workers much less than the national minimum wage.
Guardian finds claims of safety issues, workers sometimes work 24-hour shifts
Regarding the news out of Pakistan, Boohoo said it had suspended supplier JD Fashion. It added factory, AH Fashion, was also off the loss from its chain while investigations continued.
“Any supplier who does not treat their workers with the respect they deserve has no place in the Boohoo supply chain,” its statement added.
Moreover, Madina Gloves is another factory whose working conditions are criticized in the report. It strongly denied the allegations, which the owner Muhammad Saleem Shahzad said were “baseless and contrary to facts”.
“The situation on the ground is completely different. The reporter never visited my factory. I challenge him to bring forward a single quote from the workers of the factory. I am considering taking him to the court,” he told AFP.
Meanwhile, Shahzad added since the article had appeared, he had already received calls from three UK clients to cancel orders.
“I want to ask what service this report has done to my employees who are going to lose their job now?”
The Guardian report comes after Boohoo in November appointed Brian Leveson to help “deliver long-lasting and meaningful change” to the group’s supply chain and its business practices.
What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments section below.