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1. Intro: Do you recognise these brands? Which do you feel offer quality for money?

What do you know about where and how their goods are produced?
Topshop

Adidas Gucci

M&S

Prada

Primark
D&G

Nike
Poundland

2. Read & speak: Gist read the article and then summarise it with your partner.
Discuss the key points and any opinions you have on these.
3. Read: Scan the article and find phrases or words to match these definitions:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
h)

Insecure, uncertain
Allocation, amount, target
To ridicule, scorn, create a sham
Majority, main amount/ part
avoid
Motivation, encouragement
Remedy/ fix something unacceptable
Mostly, mainly, largely

4. Video: watch the video and make notes on the key sections

[to 13m05s & from 29m53s]

(*note: this documentary was in the press after it was aired and Panorama consequently had to apologise to Primark as it was
found that a small section of the film was likely not to be genuine.)

The main angle of the documentary


Background/ history of Primark
Investigation of production
Other high street traders
Opinion on Primarks reaction
Advice for the public
5. Discussion:
Should companies who find their suppliers in developing countries are exploiting workers stop
trading with that country?
Do audits and spot checks genuinely help protect workers rights?
Who is most responsible for protecting workers rights? Governments, trade organisations,
NGOs, companies, suppliers, retailers, customers
What can consumers in developed countries do to help the situation?
Do you agree with the statement it is better to have a job, however little it pays or bad the
conditions are, than no job at all?
Do you think that by choosing to source labour and materials abroad, these companies are
investing in developing countries?
Esl lesson library @ grabalesson.blogspot.com

Sweatshops are still supplying high street brands.


Marks and Spencer's, Next, Ralph
Lauren, DKNY, GAP, Converse,
Banana Republic, Land's End,
Levi's. And so the list of brands
go on and on. What do they all
have in common? According to a
deeply depressing report by the
International Textile Garment and
Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF),
the factories in Asia contracted to make
their products are still responsible for
shocking working practices.
More than a decade after sweatshop
labour for high street brands became a
mainstream issue, and after plenty of
companies have instituted monitoring of
their supply chains, the problem still
seems endemic right across the global
clothing and footwear sector.
Picture: bbc world service (2009) flickr
Many of the factories supplying the brands likely to dominate the Olympics in 2012, such as Adidas,
Nike, Slazenger, Speedo and Puma, "are routinely breaking every rule in the book when it comes to
labour rights", according to the ITGLWF. The list of brands ultimately sourcing from the 83 factories
surveyed in the report is so comprehensive, it seems to make a mockery of the whole idea that the
high street has cleaned up its act.
Factories in three countries the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka were surveyed, and not one of
them paid a living wage to their combined 100,000-strong workforce. Many of them didn't even pay
the legal minimum wage. What the report also makes clear is that this is a gender issue: 76% of the
surveyed workforce are women. Globalised supply chains exploit predominantly female labour. It's an
irony that probably escapes most of the women who do the bulk of high street shopping in the west.
Women shopping for products made by other, underpaid, exploited, women.
What's more, things seem to be getting worse, rather than better. Employment is becoming more
precarious as more workers are put on to temporary contracts or day labour rather than with
permanent jobs. That enables employers to dodge holiday pay, sick pay and written contracts. Such
employment makes it harder for trade unions to organise and recruit, because contracts are not
renewed if the worker has been involved in union activity. On average, 25% of workers in Indonesia
were short-term or temporary, while in the Philippines it rose to 85% in one factory, 50% at another.
In Sri Lanka, wages were paid on productivity targets despite such a practice being illegal. At one
factory in Girigara, basic pay was cut if targets were not achieved. At another factory owned by the
same company in Katunayake, workers didn't receive any incentive pay unless the entire quota was
reached, but workers reported that the targets were impossible to meet so they never got their
bonuses, even if they missed toilet breaks and rest periods to try and reach the target.
The report found that excessive overtime was the "norm" in sportswear and leisurewear factories in
Indonesia; workers in all the factories surveyed were doing between 10 and 40 hours of overtime a
week. There were incidents of mental and physical abuse when workers failed to reach production
targets. In Sri Lanka, workers were forced to work up to 130 hours per month in overtime, and anyone
asking to leave would be verbally harassed. In the Philippines, 24% of workers said that they did not
receive additional pay for their overtime.
Taken

and

adapted

from

The

Guardian

(2011)

matters/2011/apr/28/sweatshops-supplying-high-street-brands

Esl lesson library @ grabalesson.blogspot.com

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-

Sweatshops are still supplying high street brands.


Marks and Spencer's, Next, Ralph
Lauren, DKNY, GAP, Converse,
Banana Republic, Land's End,
Levi's. And so the list of brands
go on and on. What do they all
have in common? According to a
deeply depressing report by the
International Textile Garment and
Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF),
the factories in Asia contracted to make
their products are still responsible for
shocking working practices.
More than a decade after sweatshop
labour for high street brands became a
mainstream issue, and after plenty of
companies have instituted monitoring of
their supply chains, the problem still
seems endemic right across the global
clothing and footwear sector.
Picture: bbc world service (2009) flickr
Many of the factories supplying the brands likely to dominate the Olympics in 2012, such as Adidas,
Nike, Slazenger, Speedo and Puma, "are routinely breaking every rule in the book when it comes to
labour rights", according to the ITGLWF. The list of brands ultimately sourcing from the 83 factories
surveyed in the report is so comprehensive, it seems to make a mockery of the whole idea that the
high street has cleaned up its act.
Factories in three countries the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka were surveyed, and not one of
them paid a living wage to their combined 100,000-strong workforce. Many of them didn't even pay
the legal minimum wage. What the report also makes clear is that this is a gender issue: 76% of the
surveyed workforce are women. Globalised supply chains exploit predominantly female labour. It's an
irony that probably escapes most of the women who do the bulk of high street shopping in the west.
Women shopping for products made by other, underpaid, exploited, women.
What's more, things seem to be getting worse, rather than better. Employment is becoming more
precarious as more workers are put on to temporary contracts or day labour rather than with
permanent jobs. That enables employers to dodge holiday pay, sick pay and written contracts. Such
employment makes it harder for trade unions to organise and recruit, because contracts are not
renewed if the worker has been involved in union activity. On average, 25% of workers in Indonesia
were short-term or temporary, while in the Philippines it rose to 85% in one factory, 50% at another.
In Sri Lanka, wages were paid on productivity targets despite such a practice being illegal. At one
factory in Girigara, basic pay was cut if targets were not achieved. At another factory owned by the
same company in Katunayake, workers didn't receive any incentive pay unless the entire quota was
reached, but workers reported that the targets were impossible to meet so they never got their
bonuses, even if they missed toilet breaks and rest periods to try and reach the target.
The report found that excessive overtime was the "norm" in sportswear and leisurewear factories in
Indonesia; workers in all the factories surveyed were doing between 10 and 40 hours of overtime a
week. There were incidents of mental and physical abuse when workers failed to reach production
targets. In Sri Lanka, workers were forced to work up to 130 hours per month in overtime, and anyone
asking to leave would be verbally harassed. In the Philippines, 24% of workers said that they did not
receive additional pay for their overtime.
Taken

and

adapted

from

The

Guardian

(2011)

matters/2011/apr/28/sweatshops-supplying-high-street-brands

Esl lesson library @ grabalesson.blogspot.com

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-

Precarious
quota
To make a mockery of
The bulk
Dodge
Incentive
Clean up its act
Predominantly

Esl lesson library @ grabalesson.blogspot.com

Insecure, uncertain
Allocation, amount, target
To ridicule, scorn, create a sham
Majority, main amount/ part
avoid
Motivation, encouragement
Remedy/ fix something unacceptable
Mostly, mainly, largely