Oxfam and Myer Butt Heads Over Poverty

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By Published On: May 8, 20180 Comments

Myer has come under fire as Oxfam alleges the department store chain is paying garment factory workers as little as 36 cents an hour.

Myer is at the centre of a workers rights campaign being spearheaded by Oxfam, as the charity group urges the brand to take action against slave labour in its off-shore factories.

According to Oxfam, Myer is yet to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which aims to make factory conditions better for workers in the ready-made garment industry.

Under the legally binding agreement, global brands, retailers and trade unions are required to report on and actively improve safety and working conditions for overseas factory workers, which includes paying a reasonable wage.

In a campaign on Oxfam’s website, the organisation states that Myer is lagging behind other retailers in the fashion industry who are already working towards fairer conditions for women working in factories in less developed countries.

“Myer has so far refused to become more transparent and accountable by bringing factory locations out of hiding. Since the launch of What She Makes in October 2017, Myer has ignored requests to meet and talk with Oxfam representatives,” Oxfam states on its website.

Consumers are being urged to ‘take action’ by sending a pre-written email to Myer’s new CEO, John King that urges him to demonstrate the company’s commitment to ensuring fair living wages for all of its workers.

Myer and Oxfam

Oxfam is urging consumers to contact Myer’s new CEO over workers rights.

Myer isn’t the first retailer to be targeted by charitable organisations, as Baptist World Aid Australia (BWAA) are also running a campaign urging online women’s fashion retailer, DECJUBA to be more transparent in its supply chain practices.

According to BWAA, DECJUBA received an ‘F’ grade in the 2018 Ethical Fashion Report for not being transparent about its policies and processes to protect workers from exploitation.

Myer has made the news a lot in recent weeks, with the appointment of its new CEO and ongoing sales woes. It seems King might have a little more to consider while taking the reins of the struggling department store than just sales, as close to 4,000 people (at the time of writing) have already signed up to send an email to the embattled retailer’s newly-appointed CEO.

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