UNION VS DESIGNERS: Australian Labels Under Fire

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A handful of Australian designer labels were been targeted by The Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) for unlawful conditions and breaches of outworker laws.  Arthur Galan, Nicholas, Mariana Hardwick and Anna Thomas are among some of the more well-known labels that have been named and shamed.

These Australian favourites join the likes of 170 other brands including Cubec, Viktoria & Woods, Mesop & Verducci – who have also been approached in the past by the union. The key claims from TCFUA are that the brands have allegedly failed to meet the minimum legal standards for workers. This includes underpayment – workers were getting paid 5-6 dollars an hour (when the minimum wage in Australia from July 1 is meant to be $16.87) – lack of sick leave, annual leave or superannuation as well as poor work conditions in general.

Union secretary Michele O’Neil has stated that these Australian companies must take responsibility for their workers’ rights despite third party recruitment services being used to mediate these situations in the past.

The Union has also alleged that workers have been working for up to fifteen hours straight in a variety of unsatisfactory sweatshop-like conditions in factories, garages, sheds and retail shops across Australia as well as at all hours of the day and even up to 7 days a week.

Brands have been contacted by different media sources with little to no response, bar two labels who have both denied the claims, stating that most employees had been with the companies for many years and are paid above the minimum wage.

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(Photos via ABC, Google)

A PR graduate who is constantly dreaming of bigger and better things, including a world where well dressed women are the leaders, that the beauty of words are appreciated and Adelaide is put on the cultural map.

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