In November 2020, over 800 women garment workers went on strike over being paid less than the minimum wage at a factory in Andhra Pradesh, India owned by Indian Designs Exports Private Ltd. The workers allege they are paid as little as 6,000 rupees (US$80) per month and face harassment by their managers and poor working conditions. They are calling for a pay rise to 11,000 rupees per month, a transport allowance, a free canteen, reduced workload, and an end to harassment.
Columbia Sportswear, FatFace, Gap, H&M, John Lewis and White Stuff are named as buyers from Indian Designs Exports’ on its website.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Indian Designs, Columbia Sportswear, FatFace, Gap, H&M, John Lewis and White Stuff to respond to the allegations and workers’ demands. Indian Designs said it pays all workers legal wages and addressed each of the demands in its response. John Lewis, Gap, FatFace and Columbia Sportswear responded and said while Indian Designs is one of their suppliers, they do not source from the Anantapur factory. H&M said it is in close contact with both the supplier and worker representatives and based on the information it has, all workers have been paid according to national law; however, it will continue the dialogue to ensure all concerns are addressed. The full responses can be found below. White Stuff did not respond.