Zara's slave labor scandal in Brazil

Uploaded by victorfarias99 on 04.12.2011

We are here in the São Paulo state and right there at that corner house
there was a complain that there are Bolivians supposaly working as slaves.
We came here to follow the raid that will be done
and see what happens.
Officers are checking everything, auditors are checking if the workers are registered,
but they don't stop doing what they are doing for one second.
Look at this!
Look at these micro particles of fabric.
Look how dirty this is!
Look at this!
There is a woman wearing a mask, but most of them are not wearing masks.
Imagine all sorts of respiratory problems that they could have due to this.
Due to inhaling this.
Conditions are super risky.
This fire extinguisher was charged in 1998, guys.
Nineteen ninety eight!
The “thermometer” is red, what means that it is not charged.
People work down there.
If there is a fire in their work place they have to come up here to get the extinguisher...
empty by the way, to try to extinguish the fire. Hard, isn't it?
We got here and there are many Bolivians here.
Why people leave there to come here to Brazil?
-There are some who are studying.
-The Brazilian currency is worth more money.
-How much did you earn there per month?
-I earned 800 Bolivians (€ 85).
-And how much do you earn here?
-I think I earn 900 Brazilian Reais (€ 375)
-It’s an improvement? A big improvement?
-Do you earn per month or per item produced?
-Per item.
-For example, these pants you are producing?
-R$ 1,80
-R$ 1,80 per item.
And this amount is divided by how many people?
-If four of us do it, it is divided by four.
-So... the amount is divided by how many people make the pants. How many people are making these pants?
-Around R$ 0,20 (€ 0,08) per person per pair of pants produced.
-These are Zara's pants.
It’s not fake. It’s Zara’s
-Order… Zara
-The order was made by Rhodes…
brand Zara.
-Big brands end up transferring their production to clothing firms
that transfer their production to small factories like this we found today.
-When the consumer thinks he is paying R$ 500 (€ 210) or R$ 1000 (€ 420),
a high amount for the clothes they are buying he thinks he is buying quality products,
but sometimes he is not.
This way, somebody is making more profit than they say they sell...
...than they tell the consumers they profit.
After the complaint that was made to this factory it was concluded that there were problems in Zara’s supply chain that works like this:
the multinational provides a model to their intermediaries that transfer the production to illegal factories...
... these factories in fact produce the clothes that you will find in the best shopping malls in town.
A situation like this we think that could only happen in remote places…
...hard to get to, isn’t it? We are in the north zone of the city of São Paulo.
-I think that society doesn’t want to see this.
The Ministry of Labor already charged big clothing companies for slave labor
and what you see is that they don’t see that as their problem.
There are clothing brands that have been considered responsable for slave labor.
They came to agreements with the ministry of labor to regularize this situation.
Nobody knows we are here. There are some people by the gate.
There are two federal policemen with them. Let’s see what happens.
One important thing to mention is that there was a padlock on the gate.
-Is there a padlock?
Yes, there is.
-Do you think we can go now?
-Yes, we can.
-There are two productive units. One over and another below.
-Excuse me for a second.
-It was apprehended one pilot model of this big international chain of clothing stores
being made in this sewing shop.
-The situation we have here is an inappropriate environment for people to work
There are electric wires without isolation.
-There is a cable without isolation... with a steel screw aside...
just by its side are flammable materials…
-They are asking for a fire.
-This masonry is in precarious conditions,
Electrical installations are also inadequate.
-Because of the sewing machines they need electrical power and there is electrical power in the house,
but there’s no heated water for the workers to shower.
They are considered like animals working for the boss’s profit, for someone else’s profit.
-For how long have you being here? -Three years.
-How many work hours?
-From seven in the morning up to 8 or 9 at night.
-How much do you earn for each item you make?
-R$ 2,00
-Don’t you think that because you earn so little money, work the way you work,
live in this place you live... you don’t receive any help.
Don’t you think you could have a hot shower?
-Yes, but the owner knows what is right or wrong…
-You must have a hot shower.
-When I wanted to buy a hot shower…”No, no you can’t install it”
-Because it is going to consume his energy.
-But... but if you are an employee that works 14 hour per day, do you think this is right?
Do you think this is fair?
-Yes, it is unfair.
-What do you have to do? Do you have to ask for permission for everything?
-Is this right? Without authorization you can’t do anything?
-No, I can’t. There are no conditions to do anything without authorization.
-If you want to go for a walk during the weekend you need to ask for authorization?
-Yes, “Can I go for a walk?”… “Yes, it is okay. Go ahead.”
-And you have to tell what time you are going to be back? -Yes.
-You have to tell him what you are going to do too?
-Regarding the documents, they have been discounted for the bus ticket.
They received a loan to come here.
-They came straight from their country to work here?
-They are not people who were found here in São Paulo? Like... "Look! I am going to give you a job over there."
-They were hired in their home country.
They leave their country owing money and arrive here having to work to pay for their debt.
-I need you to go to the Ministry of Labor with the workers tomorrow for sure so we can start discussing the payment of what they owe you.
-But after tomorrow? How that is going to help me?
-Tomorrow we are going to provide the documents for you, unemployment paperwork,
so that you have some income and we are going to start calculating how much you deserve to receive.
You and the workers.
-Am I going to have problems?
-No, you are not going to have any problems.
-We already spoken to them and they have to be there tomorrow at the Ministry of Labor.
-We noticed that they seem to be somehow afraid to talk about these issues and everything.
-What generally happens is the situation that we found.
During the interview the worker tries to defend the owner of the shop...
and the owner of the shop defends the company who hired them, the brand that they work for.
They are subisiting here and they are really afraid of losing what they have,
what in fact is almost nothing: food and a place to live.
-I don’t have what to say.
The number of big brands that support this type of slave labor that we cannot admit.
There’s no way! This is a shame.
It’s a lack of respect to human beings, do you understand? They are big brands.
-In Zara’s case, according to the auditors of the Ministry of LAbor, in one of the intermediaries there were
found 33 illegal shops that in the last 3 months produced 50.000 garments.
The most incredible thing is that the workers who perform in these conditions are not aware of the reality they are living.