Latest country profile: Romania


2019 Romania country profile

Europe’s biggest fashion manufacturer: Workers earn a mere 14% of a living wage

The Clean Clothes Campaign has revealed poverty wages in the heart of Europe. Almost half a million people work in Romania’s fashion industry – making this the biggest workforce in this sector in Europe. The main export destinations for clothing „Made in Romania“ are Italy, the UK, Spain, France, Germany, and Belgium. Brands found during the investigations range from discounters and fast fashion companies to high-end luxury brands, including Armani, Aldi, Asos, Benetton, C&A, Dolce Gabbana, Esprit, H&M, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Levi Strauss, Next, Marks & Spencer, Primark, and Zara (Inditex).
The average wage within regular working hours of interviewed workers was as low as 14 percent of a living wage. Contrary to the law, the salary within regular working hours was very often below the statutory minimum wage – which itself only constitutes a mere 17 percent of a living wage. According to workers, non-payment of the legal minimum wage for regular working hours is the norm..

Clean Clothes Campaign asks the EU to implement its „European Pillar of Social Rights”: A EU minimum wage policy is needed to ensure that all minimum wage setting in member states guaranties the implementation of the human right to a living wage as well as the European Pillar of Social Rights, Chapter II, 6 “wages”: “Workers have the right to fair wages that provide for a decent standard of living. (…) In-work poverty shall be prevented.”.

That's why we ask candidates for the EU Parliament to sign this pledge (PDF)

The wage gap in a nutshell

There is a large gap between the legal minimum wages in Eastern/South-Eastern Europe and Turkey, and what a worker would actually need to provide for themselves and their family.

Number in the infograph are in Euro per month

(click for full size)

Country profiles

Made in Europe does not mean Made Fair...

These are poverty wages

2017 Reports:

Europe's Sweatshops

Earlier reporting

Poverty wages for garment workers in Eastern Europe and Turkey

Clean Clothes Campaign works with garment workers all over the world. While many people are aware of the terrible working conditions and poverty wages that garment workers in Asia receive, they are in fact endemic in the whole global garment industry.

See these earlier reports:

See a documentary with workers from Serbia