Billionaire Zara owner Amancio Ortega reportedly pays the seamstresses who make his garments as little as €178 a month for up to 65 hours a week
Rabat – Billionaire Zara founder Amancio Ortega has been accused of exploiting workers in Morocco.
In 2017, Zara workers in Istanbul entered a store to attach notes to the clothes, saying, “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it.” This year, an NGO discovered that 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.
A Spanish NGO called Clean Clothes Campaign investigated the living conditions and wages that Ortega’s textile workers endure. His company, Inditex, covers many popular brand names including Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear, and Zara. Spain has been a solid partner for Moroccan clothing exports since 2006 and 10% of all Inditex clothes are made in Morocco.
Once a shop hand for a local shirtmaker himself, Amancio Ortega now has a net worth of approximately 60.3 billion dollars.
The NGO author Albert Sale said the retailer “operates in the Moroccan market taking advantage of production costs clearly lower than those of the European Union and geographical proximity.”
Younger workers work without contracts and receive 0.36 cents per hour.
The report revealed that the harsh conditions Moroccan garment workers face include excessive hours of work with low wages and physical abuse.
The report said: “These companies have in their hands the ability, both to generate situations of labor exploitation, and to avoid them.”
A worker gave his testimony for the study: “When auditors appear by surprise, supervisors hide minor workers on the roof or in empty clothing boxes.”
In light of the abuse that has been recently reported, it seems to be contradictory that Ortega once uttered the esteemed quote: “The successful combination of intense expansion and renewed business efficiency has only been possible through the immense effort of our team at all levels of the organization.”
El Corte Ingles and Mango were also called out for using exploitative Moroccan based suppliers.