Center Publishes Study on Indian Garment Workers and Global Supply Chains

The majority of workers in India’s garment export sector do not earn an income that covers their basic needs, are forced to work overtime hours (which are often unpaid), and face verbal abuse at work.
Center Publishes Study on Indian Garment Workers and Global Supply Chains

Presentation of the report by Dr. Mark Anner in Bangalore, India.

The majority of workers in India’s garment export sector do not earn an income that covers their basic needs, are forced to work overtime hours (which are often unpaid), and face verbal abuse at work. The causes for these poor working conditions are linked to weak labor laws and a squeeze down the supply chain by large multinational firms that demand low production costs and short lead times to meet the needs of the ‘fast fashion’ retail model. These are some of the findings by center director Mark Anner published in a new center research report, “Sourcing Dynamics, Workers’ Rights, and Inequality in Garment Global Supply Chains in India.

Mark also finds that the real dollar price paid by buyers for apparel exported from India to the United States between 1994 and 2017 declined by 62.81 percent. He finds an 11 percent increase in the speed-to-market demands of buyers. To address these problems, Mark recommends adjustment in purchasing practices to include “Total Costing for Sustainable Supply Chains (TCSSC).” TCSSC includes the costs of compliance with core labor standards, safe working conditions, reasonable hours of work, and adequate living wages, as well as external environmental sustainability. Assisting Mark with this research project in establishing contacts and providing much needed context was Madhumita Dutta, the center postdoctoral scholar in 2016–17.

The full report can be accessed on the center website here:

https://ler.la.psu.edu/gwr/documents/copy_of_CGWRGarmentSourcingandWorkersRightsinIndiaNov.152019.pdf