Four Corners - Fashion Victims
Australians love a bargain, but what's the real cost of cheap clothes from the sweat shops in Bangladesh? In 2013 more than a thousand people were killed when an eight storey building collapsed in the heart of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka.
The collapse of Rana Plaza turned the world's attention to the shocking conditions workers in the country's clothing industry are forced to endure. In recent years, Australian companies have flooded into Bangladesh to take advantage of lax labour laws and the lowest wages in the world, paid to the predominantly young, female workers in the factories.
Reporter Sarah Ferguson sets out to find where the clothes we see in our major retail outlets are made. What efforts do Australian companies make to ensure the factories are safe and their workers earn a living wage? Australian retailers blocked our enquiries at every turn, refusing access to factories wherever we went. Working backwards from some of our best known retail outlets, Four Corners goes factory to factory showing workers and union organisers Australian labels until the factories are found. There the workers describe a miserable existence, long hours, pitiful pay and abuse if deadlines aren't met. In some of the worst cases there is even violence and threats of jail.
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