Monday, November 22, 2010

Workers highlight poor working conditions at Lidl factories in Bangladesh

Two garment workers from Bangladesh are touring Germany to highlight the plight of those working to make cheap clothes for European discount supermarkets. Lidl has come under particular fire over pay and practices.

Supermarkets across Germany are popular places to buy clothes. Prices are cheap: you can buy a men's shirt for seven euros (nine US dollars) or a pair of women's trousers for under 10 euros. However two women from Bangladesh are currently on a speaking tour of Germany to highlight how these cheap prices come at a human cost.

26-year-old Jessmin Begum and 36-year-old Arifa Akter both work as seamstresses in clothes factories in Dhaka that make clothes for European stores. They say the working conditions are terrible and the pay is inadequate.

"I'm proud of my work, especially when I see people here wearing my clothes," said Begum, who works for a factory that supplies clothes to German-based supermarket chain Lidl. "But it makes me mad that what we get for our work in Bangladesh is nothing."

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