On Friday, the Washington Post published an in-depth report on the ways that Ivanka Trump’s clothing brand has failed to monitor its supply chain or take basic steps to protect the people making sheath dresses and flowery blouses for the First Daughter’s company. It’s ugly stuff.
The Post, like other reports on the garment factories where Ivanka Trump brand apparel is produced, found that the company “lags behind many in the apparel industry when it comes to monitoring the treatment of the largely female workforce employed in factories around the world.”
“My monthly salary is not enough for everyday expenses, also not for the future,” a 26-year-old sewing operator who works at a garment factory in Subang, Indonesia and has made Ivanka Trump brand dresses, told the Post.
She earns the region’s minimum wage—$173 a month—and worries that she will not be able to save enough to eventually send her 2-year-old daughter to school. With no child care, she leaves her daughter with her parents for most of the week. “I really miss the moments when we play together,” she said.
Another woman who works in the factory as a fabric cutter—and is paid a monthly salary that is, according to the Post, “far below the region’s minimum wage and a rate that workers advocates say is probably a violation of local law”—said she and her husband have to borrow money just to cover their daily expenses and care for their 10-year-old son, who currently lives with a grandmother.
In a comment to the Post, Abigail Klem, Ivanka Trump’s brand’s president blamed the company’s worker exploitation problem on its size.
The Ivanka Trump brand “had not yet matched the policies of other labels because it was newer and smaller... but is now focusing on what more it can do.”
Ivanka Trump’s most recent book, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, does not include a chapter on how to survive on poverty wages or go days without seeing your children, so the women who work at the factories manufacturing her clothing line will have to look elsewhere for advice on how best to manage until then.