Toil for Nothing in the North-Macedonian Textile Industry

Fashion companies advertise that they are producing in Europe again - instead of under exploitative conditions in the Far East. But does the "Made in Europe" label keep its promises? We put it to the test in the North Macedonian province.

Zoran Pogorovski weint. The sixty-year-old
shows a photo of himself on his mobile phone. "This is what I looked like this before the fight for the money began,look at me now," he says. In front of him on the coffee table is a pile of files, and what's in them is to blame for the for the bitter lines around his mouth and the shadows under his tired eyes. It's about 700 euros, his wife's wages for three months' work at the Soni textile factory in Kavadarci in the North-Macedonia. The man has been fighting for five years,his wife has died in the meantime. He cannot afford to give up hope.
Pogorovski and some of the seamstresses called Kristina Ampeva and her NGO Glasen Textilec for help. "The voice of the textile workers" is loud and uncomfortable,the petite 34-year-old makes her voice heard. "To approach to the officials of the three trade unions is a waste of time," waves the 34-year-old activist, "They're corrupt. They're in cahoots with bosses and political parties. So they come to me. We have sued the company for fraudulent
insolvency." The allegedly bankrupt company
rejects the wage claims of 69 seamstresses. They
were not even under contract with them, never
never seen, is the bottomless reasoning of the companies management.

Wages owed as company capital

The case has been lost, but Kristina Kristina Ampeva does not admit defeat. "I didn't come here to lose!

published in the NZZ Magazin