A harrowing report from Labour Behind the Label has exposed the dire working conditions and treatment garment workers producing clothes for Boohoo have faced during the pandemic. Just some of the shocking findings include:
- Workers pressured to continue working during lockdown, due to continued orders.
- Workers sick with COVID pressured to continue working, or face losing their job.
- Workers wishing to isolate denied pay.
- Workers forced to work in factories with no social distancing, PPE, or sanitising stations, and little attempt by Boohoo to ensure compliance with COVID guidelines.
- Factories pressured to continue production or even increase production, to keep up with new orders.
- Furlough fraud by factory management, denying workers their pay.
Workers have shared the disturbing treatment they’ve faced, including a pregnant worker who was told to leave work immediately and be put on statutory sick pay by doctors, but was denied any pay from the factory she worked for. This is illegal.
Garment workers are mostly from minority ethnic groups, and therefore more susceptible to abusive working conditions, due to their immigration status, English language skills, higher unemployment rates, and the government’s hostile environment policy that targets migrant workers, compelling workers to accept these conditions.
The treatment of their garment workers comes in contrast with the treatment its senior staff has received during the pandemic. Just recently, news broke out that Boohoo’s CEO, John Lyttle, is set to receive a £1.04m pay-out, while other senior executives will receive salary increases of up to 18-30%. The company itself is worth £4.6 billion, and their shares have increased by 22% under lockdown.
It is very clear that not only are Boohoo perfectly capable of paying and protecting their workers, but their whole business model is dependent on this brutal exploitation of their workers.
Collective action is key to supporting workers against corporate violence.
What you can do to demand Boohoo protect its workers:
Tell Boohoo to #GoTransparent with Labour Behind the Label’s petition
Tell brands incl. Boohoo to protect their workers during the COVID-19 pandemic with Labour Behind the Label’s petition
Email MPs – click here for a sample email, please adjust it to ensure it isn’t put into their junk mail
Email Boohoo – click here for a sample email, please adjust it slightly to ensure it isn’t put into their junk mail
Tweet them – here are some sample tweets:
Click here for the tweet: Hi @boohoo , I’d like to know why your vulnerable garment workers were forced to work during lockdown, even those who were sick with COVID https://labourbehindthelabel.org/report-boohoo-covid-19-the-people-behind-the-profit/
Click here for the tweet: Hi @boohoo, why were you increasing orders at your factories during a pandemic, while providing no COVID protection for your workers? https://labourbehindthelabel.org/report-boohoo-covid-19-the-people-behind-the-profit/
Click here for the tweet: Why have your garment workers been pressured to work, despite showing COVID symptoms, and having vulnerable family members? @boohoo https://labourbehindthelabel.org/report-boohoo-covid-19-the-people-behind-the-profit/
Click here for the tweet: How can you show support for the NHS when you don’t even care for the wellbeing of your own workers @boohoo !? https://labourbehindthelabel.org/report-boohoo-covid-19-the-people-behind-the-profit/
Click here for the tweet: The irony of selling those social distancing t-shirts, while you do NOTHING to protect your own garment workers @boohoo https://labourbehindthelabel.org/report-boohoo-covid-19-the-people-behind-the-profit/