Ivanka Trump linked to Chinese factory that underpays workers
Ivanka Trump’s fashion line has been linked to a Chinese factory where conditions of the 80 workers working there were not up-to the mark. When she was talking publicly about the need to support families and the role of female entrepreneurs in Berlin this week, a new report revealed employees of a Chinese factory contracted by G-III Apparel Group, the company that exclusively licenses Trump’s branded clothing line, were working extra-long hours for little pay.These employees working at a G-III-contracted factory in China worked nearly 60 hours per week to make little more than $62 per week. The audit was conducted by the watchdog group Fair Labor Association on October. That’s about half the salary of the average Chinese manufacturing worker, according to Newsweek.
Though Chinese law sets the limit for overtime at 36 hours per month, workers in all of the factory’s departments exceeded that limit, working up to 82 hours of overtime a month between September 2015 and August 2016. The factory has violated more than two dozen international labor standards after its operations were inspected. But it’s not known if employees at the Chinese factory were manufacturing Ivanka Trump products specifically during the audit.Workers earned five days of leave a year, though a small fraction of experienced employees were eligible for more. Less than a third of the factory’s workers were covered under China’s “social insurance” benefits, including a pension and medical, maternity, unemployment and work-related injury insurance.
Ivanka Trump, meanwhile, continues to make millions as the sole beneficiary of her personal brand, taking only superficial steps to distance herself from the business over conflict of interest concerns. An annual report from G-III shows net sales of Ivanka Trump-licensed merchandise increased by more than $17 million in 2016. Her own clothing line has been targeted by activists, who called for boycotts earlier this year on companies that support the Trump brand.
President Trump has also been criticized over reports that merchandise under his Trump Organization brand have been made outside the U.S., including in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Last week, he signed an executive order to tighten restrictions on federal agencies so that they buy American-made products first.
It is ironic that he has repeatedly urged American companies to manufacture in the U.S., and has slammed China for allegedly stealing U.S. jobs.