Branding In Pakistan Thesis

However, Human Rights Watch found violations of labor rights including forced overtime, denial of leave, and short-term unwritten contracts even in large Pakistani factories.Lack of accountability for poor working conditions in garment factories is at the center of troubled industrial relations in Pakistan.When I came back to work, I was not allowed to enter and was told that I had been terminated. Some of the smaller factories sometimes employ children, including as young as 13, to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime.

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RINA, the auditing company, had issued similar certificates to over 100 factories in the country.

Based on interviews with more than 141 people, including 118 garment workers from 25 factories, union leaders, government representatives, and labor rights advocates, this report finds that Pakistan’s government has failed to apply the lessons on labor rights protection and safety it should have learned following the Khaadi protests and deadly fire at Ali Enterprises.

In recent years, these invisible workers have on rare occasions been part of the national conversation, sadly, almost always for wrong and often tragic reasons.

For example, in May 2017, countrywide protests by workers of Khaadi, a leading Pakistani apparel brand, spotlighted the serious and widespread problems in Pakistan’s garment sector.

A certificate was issued to the factory by RINA Services S.p.

A, an Italian inspection company, just 22 days before the deadly fire, finding that the factory complied with all the necessary fire and safety mechanisms and labor laws.According to some estimates, Pakistan’s garment industry employs 15 million people, some 38 percent of the manufacturing labor force.But a combination of lack of job security that make it easier to dismiss and control workers, poor government labor inspection and enforcement, and aggressive tactics against independent unions, make it difficult for workers to assert their rights.As a result, workers in Pakistan’s garment factories continue to experience labor abuses that go unaddressed.While the scope of the research is limited given the vast scale of the apparel industry in Pakistan, it nonetheless points to a trend of widespread poor working conditions, identifies key concerns voiced by workers and labor rights advocates, and details the failure of inspection mechanisms to enforce compliance with applicable labor laws and regulations.“Shabana,” a pseudonym, has been working for more than eight years at a Lahore garment factory with about 500 workers, manufacturing for a Pakistani brand.The conditions, she says, are harsh and there is always the risk of being fired: There is no written contract and the only proof of employment is a card.We did not specifically focus in this research on international clothing brands, but about 20 percent of Pakistan’s factories produce ready-made garments for the international market.Such companies have an obligation to ensure that workers’ rights are protected throughout their supply chains.The bulk of the manufacturing, however, takes place in the informal economy, operating in small, unregistered shops, and unmarked buildings.These small factories produce for domestic brands, both registered and unregistered.


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