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The impact of globalization on textile industries in ethiopia

But, in many cases, the workers themselves are struggling to make ends meet. As a result of rising salaries and growing labor unrest in Asia, an increasing number of foreign companies have started moving their production to Ethiopia.

According to factory manager Joseph Elisso, the conditions in the East African country are far more favorable.

  • By using AGOA opportunities, the factory was able to improve its sales performance in the coming years;
  • Not enough to live on Although Ethiopian workers are generally happy that increasing foreign investment is bringing jobs, many are battling to make ends meet;
  • Every day, all the workers have to line up in the parking lot in front of the factory to perform a military drill, including marching, shouting, saluting and singing;
  • Every day, all the workers have to line up in the parking lot in front of the factory to perform a military drill, including marching, shouting, saluting and singing;
  • The company is planning to expand production, boosting the number of workers to 50,000 in 10 years;
  • He and his colleagues from the union nevertheless negotiate with individual factories in an attempt to secure better wages for the workers.

Ethiopia doesn't have a minimum wage, and due to high unemployment, workers are often forced to accept whatever wage they are offered. Not enough to live on Although Ethiopian workers are generally happy that increasing foreign investment is bringing jobs, many are battling to make ends meet.

  1. He says working conditions at Huajian are becoming worse. By using AGOA opportunities, the factory was able to improve its sales performance in the coming years.
  2. Over recent years, there has been an increased interest in Africa as a continent with immense resources and potentials. Now everybody is too scared to start a union," the leather cutter says.
  3. Workers too scared to start a union Although Ethiopia's constitution guarantees workers the right to associate, most factories, including Huajian, do not have trade unions. Ethiopia has one of the largest heads of cattle in Africa and leather is widely available in the country.
  4. Ethiopian factory workers aren't optimistic about the future, according to Ibrahim.
  5. As a result of rising salaries and growing labor unrest in Asia, an increasing number of foreign companies have started moving their production to Ethiopia. Ethiopian factory workers aren't optimistic about the future, according to Ibrahim.

The 23-year-old factory worker, dressed in a checkered pinafore, is living with friends to share the costs. How will I manage to pay food and clothing? Shoes for Guess and Toms are produced by the nearly 4,000 workers at Huajian's factory in Ethiopia In Duken, about a half hour drive from the Debre Zeyit garment plant, there's a big shoe factory run by Chinese company Huajian.

Around 3,800 Ethiopian men and women are busy hammering soles on shoes, sewing pieces of leather together, operating machines and checking the final products. The company plans to produce 2 million pairs of shoes this year, mostly for American and European customers like Guess, Naturalizer and Toms. Ethiopia has one of the largest heads of cattle in Africa and leather is widely available in the country.

Buying clothes without remorse

The company is planning to expand production, boosting the number of workers to 50,000 in 10 years. Although Huajian has created many news jobs, the company's employees complain their wages are too low. My rent alone is already 400 birr," says 24-year-old leather cutter Abu Ibrahim.

Many shoes were rejected by our customers and we had to pay 4. Military drills for more discipline The Huajian company, which was founded in China in the 1980s by former military officer Zhang Huarong, has also adopted a rather unusual method to motivate its staff. Every day, all the workers have to line up in the parking lot in front of the factory to perform a military drill, including marching, shouting, saluting and singing.

We want to create the same effect," says human resources manager Zeng Lizhuo. Not all workers appreciate this activity, though.

She also hates the "Huajian song" that the workers are obliged to sing in Mandarin during the daily drill. According to Zeng, the song is to unite the workers.

  • The factory has a bright prospect if action is taken by the government;
  • Priority is given to the textile and garment sector by the government;
  • Workers too scared to start a union Although Ethiopia's constitution guarantees workers the right to associate, most factories, including Huajian, do not have trade unions.

Workers too scared to start a union Although Ethiopia's constitution guarantees workers the right to associate, most factories, including Huajian, do not have trade unions. At Huajian, workers who tried to start a union were fired, according to Abu Ibrahim. Now everybody is too scared to start a union," the leather cutter says.

The way workers are treated at the Huajian factory is not unusual.

  • Not enough to live on Although Ethiopian workers are generally happy that increasing foreign investment is bringing jobs, many are battling to make ends meet;
  • According to Zeng, the song is to unite the workers.

About 75 percent of all Ethiopian companies still refuse to permit trade unions, says Angesom Yohannes from the Industrial Federation of Ethiopian Textile Trade Unions. He and his colleagues from the union nevertheless negotiate with individual factories in an attempt to secure better wages for the workers. After negotiating for three years, the union achieved a 25-percent wage increase in a collective bargaining agreement with the Turkish factory Ayka, which employs 7,000 Ethiopians.

But Yohannes says pressure from customers abroad, like in the case of Tchibo, can have a big impact on strengthening workers' rights. Dereje Feyissa Dori, research professor at the International Law and Policy Institute in Addis Ababa, believes that Ethiopia won't become a second Bangladesh, with dangerous working conditions.

Low wages draw international textile companies to Ethiopia

Factories aren't housed in shacky flats like in Asia, but in large production halls. Dori believes that Ethiopia's relaxed attitude towards foreign investors regarding labor rights won't last. It doesn't want to scare or chase investors away by putting too many conditions, but it will become more strict in a couple of years," Dori says.

Ethiopian factory workers aren't optimistic about the future, according to Ibrahim. He says working conditions at Huajian are becoming worse. Because they are happy with all the investments, they will always choose to side with the foreign companies.