BILLIONAIRE Zara founder Amancio Ortega has been accused of exploiting workers in Morocco.
The Spanish business owner reportedly pays the seamstresses who make the garments as little as €178 a month for up to 65 hours a week.
Ortega owned Inditex was investigated by Spanish NGO ‘Clean Clothes Campaign’ that analysed the living conditions and low pay suffered by female textile workers.
The NGO said the retailer ‘operate in the Moroccan market taking advantage of production costs clearly lower than those of the European Union and geographical proximity.’
El Corte Ingles, Mango and other European firms were also named as using exploitative Moroccan based suppliers.
Spain has been the most important customer for Moroccan clothing exports since 2006 and 10% of all Inditex clothes are made in Morocco.
The Inditex brand covers many popular high street names including Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear and Zara.
The report revealed the harsh conditions Moroccan garment workers have to face including excessive hours of work with low wages and physical abuse.
Report author Albert Sales said: “These companies have in their hands the ability, both to generate situations of labour exploitation, and to avoid them.”
Younger workers are reportedly made to work without contracts and receive just 0.36 cents per hour.
A worker told the study: “when auditors appear by surprise, supervisors hide minor workers on the roof or in empty clothing boxes.”
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