Beyonce Ivy Park factory workers pay and working conditions revealed—it's not pretty and it's certainly not inspiring or empowering

Beyonce’s new athletic line, Ivy Park, is being manufactured by “sweatshop slaves” earning just 63 cents an hour.

That’s according to a new report, which details the grueling and terrible work and living conditions factory workers are subjected to.

Britain’s The Sun newspaper, flew to Sri Lanka to report on conditions inside the MAS Holdings ­factory.

The majority of the factory workers are young females from extremely poor rural areas.

They are paid the U.S. equivalent of $6.17 per day and work up to 60 hours a week.

It would take them a whole month’s pay to be able to buy just one pair of the $144 Ivy Park leggings they manufacture.

The women live cramped together in a 100 room boarding house near Colombo airport.

Because of financial constraints, they are forced to share the 10ft x 10ft rooms that they pay $30 a month for.

The boarding house has a strict 10.30 curfew, after which the doors are locked until the morning when the women are taken back to the factory.

They receive no form of sick pay, and receive no paid holiday at all during their first year of work.

Many of the workers are afraid to speak out publicly, for fear of losing their job.

But, the Sun spoke to one unnamed woman who described her living conditions:

All we do is work, sleep, work, sleep.

We don’t have our own kitchen or shower, it’s just a small bedroom.

We have to share the shower block with the men so there isn’t much privacy.

It is shocking and many of the women are very scared.

We don’t have much spare money and what we do have we send back to our family.

The 22-year-old machinist says she is unable to survive on her $126.18 a month salary—which is approximately half the average wage in Sri Lanka.

She works, stitching clothes alongside hundreds of other women, 9¾ hours a day, Monday to Saturday, with a 30-minute lunch break.

The woman also has to work overtime whenever it is required.

The Sun also spoke to the machinist’s sister, whom she shares her boarding house room with:

We had to come and work here because our father could not afford to feed us and there are no jobs there.

We have no choice. I have worked here for three years now and it was very difficult at the beginning but I am used to it now.

And it’s better now that my ­sister is here with me. I miss home.

The work is hard — it’s just the same, same, same every day.

We don’t get to go home much because we work all the time.

They say if you work you can go up, up, up, but that’s just office workers.

For us it stays the same always.

Beyonce launched her Ivy Park line, which is manufactured for Top Shop, last month,

She explained in a YouTube video, that the athletic wear is all about supporting and inspiring women:

My goal with Ivy Park is to push the boundaries of ­athletic wear and to support and inspire women who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance.

True beauty is in the health of our minds, hearts and bodies.

I know that when I feel physically strong, I am mentally strong and I wanted to create a brand that made other women feel the same way.

Not surprisingly, the machinist says she feels far from inspired or empowered by Ivy Park.

She tells the Sun:

When they talk about women and empowerment this is just for the foreigners.

They want the foreigners to think ­everything is OK.

In that vein, an Ivy Park spokesperson released a statement refuting the sweatshop allegations:

Ivy Park has a rigorous ethical trading program.

We are proud of our sustained efforts in terms of factory inspections and audits, and our teams worldwide work very closely with our suppliers and their factories to ensure compliance.

We expect our suppliers to meet our code of conduct and we support them in achieving these requirements.

However, campaigners claim the factory DOES employ sweatshop slavery conditions, and are calling for reform.

Jakub Sobik, from the charity Anti-Slavery International, tells The Sun:

This is a form of sweat shop slavery.

There are a number of elements here that tick the boxes in terms of slavery, the low pay, restriction of women’s movement at night and locking them in.

Companies like Topshop have a duty to find out if these things are happening, and it has long been shown that ethical inspections by these companies are failing.

They should be replaced by independent inspections.

Meanwhile, the MAS Holdings factory is not breaking any labor laws in Sri Lanka.

And, as WWD points out, workers are actually paid more than double minimum wage, which is $2.68 a day.

But, for anti-poverty campaigners, that still just does not cut it.

Owen Espley, sweat shops campaigner for anti-poverty charity War on Want, tells the Sun:

The superyachts and luxurious lifestyles enjoyed by the likes of [Top Shop sociopath CEO Philip Green] are a far cry from the grim reality facing garment workers in Sri Lanka.

Unless the fashion industry is transformed, women will continue to be exploited to ­produce clothes for the UK high street.

As long as brands remain unaccountable for conditions in their suppliers’ factories, ­garment workers and their ­families will suffer.

Which begs the question, what's the TRUE price paid (and by who) for your Ivy Park hoodie?

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