India

The textile and garment industry plays an important role in India’s economic growth, contributing 4% to the country’s GDP and employing about 45 million workers.

Labour conditions are characterised by high production pressure resulting in excessive, often unpaid overtime. In addition, a lack of legal employment relationships and informal employment is common; especially for seasonal and migrant workers. Unionisation in the garment sector remains low, at less than 5%; largely due to management practices that discourage workers from joining trade unions. Functioning grievance channels are lacking.

Sexual harassment of female workers remains a major challenge and generally goes unreported. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act stipulates that women should not be subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace and prescribes the creation of Internal Complaints Committees (ICC). However, most garment factories do not have (functioning) ICCs in place. Since 2013, FWF provides training through its Workplace Education Programme (WEP) focusing on the prevention of gender-based violence and the establishment of ICCs.

In addition, with the support of the EU delegation in India, FWF is currently piloting a training programme in Bangalore and Tirupur. The programme aims to further reduce economic discrimination against women in garment factories by providing training focused on improving the working relations between line supervisors and workers and supporting female workers with skills to become supervisors.

FWF has published a policy to offer guidance to its members to mitigate risks related to Sumangali-like schemes, an illegal forced labour practice observed in South India.

Minimum wages vary per state, sector and category of workers. Taking the tailoring industry as an example, daily minimum wages in Bangalore, Tirupur and Gurgaon range from 263 to 391 INR (EUR 3.4 to 5.3). Such wages provide only minimal standards of living and do not meet the monthly living wage, which amounts to a daily wage of 720 INR (EUR 9.7), according to the Asia Floor Wage. FWF audits found that minimum wages are commonly provided to permanent workers, while documents regarding contract workers are often not available for verification. In addition, overtime is commonly paid at single rate or not paid at all.

FWF has been active in India since 2003. Forty FWF members—mostly those in fashion and sportswear—source from more than 160 factories. Of these factories, 45% are located in north India, while 55% are based in south India. Significant clusters for factories supplying FWF members include Tamil Nadu (mainly Tirupur) as well as Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) area.

In India, FWF works with a number of local partners (currently SAVE, Cividep and MARG), a country representative, as well as three local audit teams. Complaint hotlines are operated in five languages; Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Bangla and English.

Fair Wear Foundation and its partners FNV Mondiaal and CNV Internationaal have been selected by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a five year Strategic partnership starting in 2016 as part of its “Dialogue and Dissent” policy framework. The primary goal of this initiative is to improve the lobbying and advocacy capacity of trade unions and labour related NGOs by enhancing their understanding of international RMG supply chains, access to critical information and know-how. This programme further defines FWF’s activities in India for the coming 5 years, focusing on the areas of Living Wages, Social Dialogue and Gender Based Violence in the textile industry.

For questions about FWF’s work in India, please contact Lisa Süss.

Indicators

  • FWF active since: 2003
  • Complaints handler: yes
  • Audit teams: 3
  • FWF affiliates sourcing: 41
  • Number of suppliers: 160
  • Human development rank: 130
  • Minimum wage: 2990 INR = 48,6 US$
  • GDP per capita/year (PPP US$): 5,050
  • Income equality value (Gini): 33,6
  • Population below $1.25/day: 32,7
  • Global gender gap index: 108
  • Child labour (5-14 years): 12%
  • Trade union situation

Resources

Resources related to India

India Country Study 2016

India is, together with Bangladesh, China and Turkey, one of FWF’s date: 26/09/2016Read more

India Country Plan 2015

Country plan 2015 date: 21/12/2011Read more

FWF Guidance for Members on Sumangali 2015

FWF Guidance for Members on Sumangali 2015 The Sumangali Scheme, a date: 21/12/2011Read more

India Complaint Nudie Jeans August 2016

Intermediate report of complaint in India at a factory supplying Nud date: 17/11/2016Read more

India complaint DW-Shop July 2016

Final report of a complaint at a factory in India supplying DW-Shop date: 14/03/2017Read more

India complaint Nudie Jeans Oct. 2016

FINAL REPORT OF COMPLAINT AT A FACTORY IN India SUPPLYING Nudie jea date: 14/03/2017Read more

India Complaint Nudie Jeans, Mini Rodini, Manroof and Continental April 2016

Final report of complaint in India at a factory supplying Nudie Jean date: 11/05/2016Read more

India Complaint Nudie Jeans, Manroof, Continental Clothing, Epona Feb. 2017

Final report of a complaint at a factory in India supplying Nudie J date: 26/04/2017Read more

India Complaint Takko August 2016

Final report of complaint at a factory in India supplying Takko On date: 17/11/2016Read more

India Complaint Takko December 2016

Final report of a complaint at a factory in India supplying Takko O date: 27/03/2017Read more

India Complaint Takko Jan. 2017 Interim report

Interim report of a complaint at a factory in India supplying Takko date: 14/06/2017Read more

India Complaint Takko May 2016

Final report of complaint in India at factory supplying Takko On 28 date: 17/11/2016Read more

India Complaint Takko October 2016

Final report of a complaint at a factory in India supplying Takko O date: 27/03/2017Read more

Projects

Projects in India

Workplace Education Programme

FWF members look for more than participating in auditing. FWF’s Workplace Education Programme (WEP) provides short, targeted onsite training for managers, supervisors and workers. The training aims to raise awareness about the various labour standards and effective methods for communicating about problems and resolving disputes. Managers, supervisors and workers also learn about FWF’s complaints mechanism.

Go to WEP

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

FWF around the world

Most of FWF's work is focused on four priority countries: Bangladesh, China, India and Turkey. Around 80% of FWF member production comes from these four countries.

FWF is active in country

FWF member brand sources in country

Complaints in country

FWF projects in country

Bangladesh

The Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh has experienced... more

Fair Wear is active in Bangladesh

1 FWF projects

Bulgaria

The predominant part of the apparel producing companies in Bulgaria... more

Fair Wear is active in Bulgaria

1 FWF projects

China

China is, still, the largest exporter of garment products. 2014 wit... more

Fair Wear is active in China

2 FWF projects

India

The textile and garment industry plays an important role in India... more

Fair Wear is active in India

1 FWF projects

Indonesia

Indonesia’s manufacturing sector generates around a fifth of the ... more

Fair Wear is active in Indonesia

1 FWF projects

Macedonia

FWF began working in Macedonia in 2003. The garment industry is a v... more

Fair Wear is active in Macedonia

1 FWF projects

Myanmar

While Myanmar has demonstrated significant progress on civil and po... more

Fair Wear is active in Myanmar

Romania

The textile and garment industry is one of the most important secto... more

Fair Wear is active in Romania

1 FWF projects

Tunisia

Tunisia is among the world’s leading suppliers of clothing, an in... more

Fair Wear is active in Tunisia

1 FWF projects

Turkey

Turkey is the fifth biggest supplier country for FWF members. Produ... more

Fair Wear is active in Turkey

1 FWF projects

Vietnam

In 2016 Fair Wear Foundation has 21 member companies sourcing from ... more

Fair Wear is active in Vietnam

1 FWF projects