Hugo Boss’ road to success is a road to poverty for workers.
A real BOSS pays a living wage

With protest actions both online and on the streets in a number of locations across Europe, campaigners from the Clean Clothes Campaign network (CCC) are calling on Hugo Boss to put an end to labour violations where their garments are produced – specifically in this instance – in Turkey and Croatia. The actions coincide with Hugo Boss’ Press and Analysts’ Conference in Metzingen. Tomorrow, Hugo Boss will present the results of their ‘Road to Success’ – the company’s activities and financial performance will be up for review and discussion.

About half of Hugo Boss products are made in factories in Eastern Europe and Turkey. Stitched Up, a report from the CCC, published in 2014, shows the huge gap between the actual wages of garment workers and a living wage across the region. Hugo Boss production sites and suppliers are no exception to this finding. Most workers are earning below the poverty line. Workers at a Turkish Hugo Boss supplier, interviewed in 2013, reported earning €326/month on average – including overtime and bonuses. To put that in context, note that a national poverty threshold sits at €401/month and a minimum living wage would be €890/month. To add more context: „Profits tripled within only five years“, declared CEO Claus-Dietrich Lahrs proudly on the 4th February this year and „earnings before taxes rose 1% to € 437 million (2013: €433 million) on a preliminary basis.“

In addition to wages, which create poverty instead of eradicating it, Hugo Boss workers reported union busting, intimidation, no observance of overtime regulations and sexual harassment.

„I respect the company, I respect my work, why don’t they respect me? Hugo Boss so far does not act responsibly“, reported a Turkish Hugo Boss worker.

Bettina Musiolek from Clean Clothes Campaign says: „Made in Europe“ should mean workers are able to escape poverty and are not afraid to join a union. But on the contrary: „Made in Europe“ creates poverty and prevents people from exercising their political freedoms. Hugo Boss should ensure a fair wages for workers – so that they too can benefit from the company’s ‘Road to Success’.

Notes to editor:

Stitched up report:
http://www.temizgiysi.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/temiz-giysi-living-wage.pdf
https://www.cleanclothes.org/livingwage/stitched-up
https://www.cleanclothes.org/livingwage/stitched-up-workers-voices

Country profile Turkey:
www.cleanclothes.org/livingwage/stitched-up-factsheets/stitched-up-turkey-factsheet
Country profile Croatia:
www.cleanclothes.org/livingwage/stitched-up-factsheets/stitched-up-croatia-factsheet

http://www.industriall-union.org/hugo-boss-luxury-brand-garbage-employer

Petition: http://action.sumofus.org/a/hugo-boss-turkey-2/

Interviews with workers and former workers of Hugo Boss in Izmir/Turkey from Entwicklungspolitisches Netzwerk on Vimeo.