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每日跟讀#495: Inside Italy’s Shadow Economy

義大利影子經濟內幕

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English
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每日跟讀#495: Inside Italy’s Shadow Economy

In a second-floor apartment in the southern Italian town of Santeramo in Colle, a middle-aged woman sat in a black-padded chair this summer, hard at work at her kitchen table. She carefully stitched a sophisticated woolen coat, the sort of style that will sell for 800 to 2,000 euros ($935 to $2,340) when it arrives in stores this month as part of the fall and winter collection of MaxMara, the Italian luxury fashion brand.

在義大利南部城鎮聖埃拉莫因科萊一棟公寓的二樓,一名中年婦女今年夏天坐在黑色軟墊的椅子上,在廚房用桌前辛勤地工作著。她以針線細心縫製一件精緻的羊毛外套,這個款式本月送進商店時,標價800至2,000歐元(935至2,340美元)不等,是義大利奢侈品牌MaxMara秋冬系列的一部分。

But the woman, who asked not to be named for fear that she could lose her livelihood, receives just 1 euro from the factory that employs her for each meter of fabric she completes.

不過,擔心可能因此失去生計而不願透露姓名的這名女性,每完成1公尺面料,只能從雇用她的工廠那裡拿到1歐元。

“It takes me about one hour to sew one meter, so about four to five hours to complete an entire coat,” said the woman, who works without a contract, or insurance, and is paid in cash on a monthly basis. “I try to do two coats per day.”

這名女性說:「我大概1小時縫1公尺,大約4到5小時完成一整件外套。我試著每天做兩件大衣。」 她的工作沒有聘雇合約,也不提供保險,僅按月支領現金。

The unregulated work she completes in her apartment is outsourced to her from a local factory that also manufactures outerwear for some of the best-known names in the luxury business, including Louis Vuitton and Fendi. The most she has ever earned, she said, was 24 euros ($28) for an entire coat.

她在公寓內完成,未受任何規範的這份工作,是當地一家工廠外包給她的,該廠還替奢侈品界另一些知名品牌製造外套,包括路易威登和芬迪。她說,她所獲得的最高收入,是一整件外套24歐元(合28美元)。

Homework — working from home or a small workshop as opposed to in a factory — is a cornerstone of the fast-fashion supply chain. It is particularly prevalent in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and China, where millions of low-paid and predominantly female homeworkers are some of the most unprotected in the industry, because of their irregular employment status, isolation and lack of legal recourse.

家庭代工─ 在家中或小型工作室而非工廠工作─已成為快速時尚供應鏈的基石。在印度、孟加拉、越南和中國這些國家,家庭代工尤其普遍,數以百萬計,且主要是女性的家庭代工從業人員 ,因就業狀況不穩定,孤立和欠缺法律追索權,屬於該行業中最缺乏保護的一群。

That similar conditions exist in Italy, however, and facilitate the production of some of the most expensive wardrobe items money can buy, may shock those who see the “Made in Italy” label as a byword for sophisticated craftsmanship.

然而,類似狀況同樣存在於義大利,而且幫忙生產錢能買到的一些最昂貴衣物,卻可能讓視「義大利製造」標籤為精緻工藝代名詞的人震驚。

Increased pressure from globalization and growing competition at all levels of the market mean that the assumption implicit in the luxury promise — that part of the value of such a good is that it is made in the best conditions, by highly skilled workers, who are paid fairly — is at times put under threat.

全球化帶來更大壓力,市場各層面競爭亦日益激烈,意味奢侈品的承諾之一,這種商品部分價值來自它在最佳狀態下,由高技術、拿合理報酬的工人製造的這項隱含的假設,不時受到威脅。

Although they are not exposed to what most people would consider sweatshop conditions, the homeworkers are allotted what might seem close to sweatshop wages. Italy does not have a national minimum wage, but roughly 5 to 7 euros per hour is considered an appropriate standard by many unions and consulting firms. In extremely rare cases, a highly skilled worker can earn as much as 8 to 10 euros an hour. But the homeworkers earn significantly less, regardless of whether they are involved in leatherwork, embroidery or another artisanal task.

儘管他們的處境還不到大多數人會認為是血汗工廠的境地,但家庭代工的工資似已接近血汗工廠。義大利沒有設定全國最低工資,但許多工會和顧問公司認為每小時5-7歐元是適當標準。在極少數情況下,高技術工人每小時可賺取8-10歐元。但是家庭代工的收入低了許多,無論他們從事的是皮革製品,刺繡或其他手工藝工作。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/332436/web/
作者/Elizabeth Paton and Milena譯/王麗娟

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