Shoppers in Zara’s Istanbul stores have discovered disturbing notes hidden in their garments planted by workers who claim they were never paid for their work.
The Associated Press reported workers at a manufacturer for Zara, Mango and Next have been going into the stores in Istanbul and planting notes that say the following: “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it”.
The workers were employed by a Bravo Tekstil complex in Istanbul, which closed overnight, according to the Associated Press. The employees claim the manufacturer owes them three months of back pay.
In a petition posted to Change.org two months ago, the workers wrote they have been working for years to produce garments for the companies.
“We are textile workers in Turkey who have been working for years to make profits for brands such as Inditex (Zara), Next, and Mango. We produced their products under close surveillance by the brands and saw the power the brands wield to ensure their working standards are followed by their supplier factories,” the letter of petition read.
“By July of 2016, our boss refused to pay a huge portion of the wages we had earned making each brands’ clothing. Creditors came to our factory and seized all machines and valuables. Meanwhile, our boss disappeared, taking our wages with him. We have yet to receive our wages or any form of severance payment.”
After staying silent for a year to keep the negotiations peaceful, the workers say they have been forced to go public after the brands declared they will only pay just over a quarter of their claim.
“In other words, the brands accepted their liability, but they thought we deserve no more than their scraps.
“We have all laboured for Zara/Inditex, Next, and Mango for years. We made these brands’ products with our own hands, earning huge profits for them. We demand now that these brands give us the basic respect to compensate us for our labour. We demand no more than our basic rights! We call on the international community to support our struggle, sign and share to support our campaign!”