Australia

Myer praised for major step

An iconic Australian department store is taking a big step towards transparency, according to a major human rights organisation.

Iconic Australian department store Myer has taken its first step to ensure garment workers who make clothes for Miss Shop and Basque get paid a living wage.

The company will also publish its factory list to be more transparent with consumers and ensure more ethical sourcing as part of a move pushed for by Oxfam.

The human rights organisation acknowledged the positive steps Myer made on Wednesday and said it has pushed the company to make moves towards transparency.

It was just the “very first step” in the journey to ensuring garment workers – the majority of which are women – get paid a living wage, the organisation’s economic justice lead, Nayeem Emran, said.

“[Oxfam] has acknowledged it’s a good first step, but the journey needs to continue,” Mr Emran said.

Myer brands such as Miss Shop, Piper and Basque will be part of the commitment to ensuring garment workers receive a living wage.

It was also key the company would publish what factories were used in its supply chain, which shows where they are based in a country and can ensure transparency around conditions, he said.

As part of the commitment, Myer will review its current sourcing practices and contracts with factories around delivery time by 2023.

But Mr Emran said the impact of Covid-19 showed how easy it was for garment workers to slip into poverty, with many having little to no savings and then losing their jobs.

He said while it was a positive move for Myer, it joined the journey towards living wages at a later stage.

A Myer spokesperson said the company was aware how important ethical sourcing is to customers and it continued to progress and improve its established sourcing program.

“This includes outlining our ongoing work in this area with our commitment to living wage and factory information, ensuring an even more transparent supply chain,” a statement read.

Brands such as Just Group, which includes Peter Alexander and Just Jeans, have yet to make a commitment to list factories they use, according to Oxfam.

“Brands that fail to ensure the payment of a living wage are perpetuating a system that keeps women in poverty,” Mr Emran said.

Female garment workers are among the lowest paid workers in the supply chain.

Originally published as Myer praised for first step towards living wages by Oxfam Australia

Source: Sky News

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