Report: Not Even the Bare Minimum

Cover of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund ReportThe Steelworkers Humanity Fund has released a ground-breaking report, Not Even the Bare Minimum, on the wages and living conditions of Bangladesh’s garment sector, which employs a majority of women, making clothes in factories supplying Canadian brands and fashion retailers.

The research, undertaken by a Dhaka-based researcher, identified factories that produce for Canadian brands and retailers, and then conducted interviews of 35 workers employed in a sample of nine factories located in the industrial belts surrounding the Bangladeshi capital and the port city of Chittagong.

The report demonstrates that Canadian garment companies are no different than other global brands as they seek to minimize the cost of production, at the expense of decent work. Costs of production are pushed onto the shoulders of the women and men who work in factories across the supply chain. This report provides garment workers an opportunity to tell about their living and working conditions in their own words.

The report also points toward solutions to address the immediate consequences of this situation on workers, such as wage assurance supports and the establishment of a global severance guarantee fund. Canadian brands must commit to pay living wages, which would be expressed through legally binding agreements.

Download the Report (PDF)