Ethiopian textile workers are the
world’s worst paid
Days after a damning report on low paid laborers, the
Swedish fashion giant H&M says it is committed to ensuring that
workers who produce some of its items from Ethiopian factories
receive fair wages. The released report titled “Made in
Ethiopia: Challenges in the Garment Industry’s New Frontier”
revealed that Ethiopian labourers at garment workshops are the
worst-paid in the world.
The report stated some of the world’s biggest fashion brands
including H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and others, source
items from Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s long-held ambitions to become the world’s next big
destination for textile and fashion production has not panned
out as planned. Entry-level workers in the country’s garment
industry allegedly earn a mere $26 a month, according to the
study from New York University’s Stern Center for Business and
While the government has overseen directives to attract
global investment in the sector, that hasn’t translated into
prosperity for the employees, who struggle to save, send money
home, or afford basic necessities like housing or food.
“In their eagerness to create a ‘Made in Ethiopia’ brand, the
government, global brands, and foreign manufacturers failed to
anticipate that the base wage was simply too little for workers
to live on,” said Paul Barrett, who authored the report.
Ethiopia has no official minimum wage for the private sector.