A Brazilian textile industry that has been accused of paying its workers below the minimum wage has admitted that it was paying them below the rate of $5.30 an hour.
Key points:Japans textile industry says it has been paying workers less than minimum wage since 2016A group of Brazilian workers are suing the company and accused it of paying them the minimum rate of the World BankThe group wants a court to investigate the caseJapana-based textile industry has faced mounting criticism over the past few years after it was revealed it had been paying its employees below the international minimum wage of $1.60 per hour.
Japna-based Japana Textile said in a statement it was “deeply disappointed” at the ruling, and that it will appeal against the decision.
“Japanextil is the only textile company in the world to be paying its suppliers below the Brazilian minimum wage,” it said.
“We are extremely disappointed by the decision of the Brazilian court.”
Japanes textile industry is one of the largest producers of textiles in Brazil, accounting for 70 per cent of Brazil’s total production.
But it has faced growing criticism in recent years.
The World Bank recently said the textile industry was responsible for more than 40 per cent (28,000) of the 1.3 million jobs lost in the country in 2016.
In 2016, the Brazilian Ministry of Labor and Employment (DOL) filed a lawsuit against Japanexil, alleging that it had not paid workers the minimum wages set out by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The court heard evidence from a former factory manager who alleged that Japanes factory in Rio de Janeiro had been working for more a year than the minimum legal wage.JAPANA-based group of workers wants a judge to investigateThe group is seeking damages of $10 million ($8.8 million) for the workers, as well as legal fees.
“The textile industry in Brazil has been making enormous sacrifices for decades, but its members have not been treated fairly,” the group’s president, Paulo Barros, told reporters in Rio.
“They are paid the minimum that the WTO agreed to, and in the end the workers are not even getting the minimum amount they are owed.”
The textile giant has been criticised in recent months for its poor labour practices and the high cost of labour in Brazil.
Earlier this month, the group said it had paid more than 3,000 Brazilian workers below their legal minimum wage, and it said it was continuing to investigate its suppliers.
In December, Japna textile workers in Rio De Janeiro said they had received a total of $7.7 million in wages.