Workers win settlement for withheld wages in Romania

A group of workers in Romania have received their full wages which were withheld during the pandemic. This follows an intense media campaign, launched by the Clean Clothes Campaign, which went viral and put international pressure on brands to take responsibility throughout their supply chains.

The workers in question received only half of their regular wage during the first months of the pandemic – a mere 140 EUR per month. Angelica Manole was the worker who raised this issue publicly and faced immense backlash for it with the factory firing her for “making public statements in the mass-media” whilst denying the violations mentioned. The labour inspection, which is responsible for ensuring workers’ rights are upheld and respected, initially sided with the factory believing its falsehoods.

The public pressure stemming from the campaign lead to the Labour Ministry ordering a new inspection shining a light on the exploitation of the workers and was followed by a personal apology by the Labour Minister to Angelica Manole. The factory was fined for not paying the legal minimum wage and for failing to maintain documents concerning unpaid leave. In September, workers who were still employed at the factory in August received their full salaries, and after further pressure, those who were fired or left the factory in the months before were also paid the money they were owed.

This story is just one of many stories of labour exploitation across Europe and the world. Justice at Last fully supports the actions of the Clean Clothes Campaign in putting pressure on fashion brands to make them accountable for the poverty wages in their supply chains.

You can read more here on their highly successful #PayYourWorkers campaign.