Garment workers tell fashion brands: "We want work"

Plus council finances, Easy Life and Black History Month.

Photo of the Labour Behind the Label protest

In focus

Garment workers tell fashion brands: "We want work"

by Emma Guy

TLDR: On 1 October, over 500 people rallied at Spinney Hill Park to highlight the poverty and exploitation of garment workers in Leicester East.

Following the departure of big fashion brands over recent years, garment workers have been laid off or cut their hours by up to 70 per cent, and some are now facing homelessness.

Protestors called on big fashion brands to support city factories and ensure that all workers are paid the National Living Wage. The group came together to send a direct message to factory owners and big fashion brands: 'We want decent work'. 

The organisers, Labour Behind the Label, said they aim to highlight the exploitation workers face and lobby the Government for intervention. Future intervention could be in the form of further requirements for fashion brands or new legislation specifically protecting workers. 

Dominique Muller, Policy Director at Labour Behind the Label, said: "At the moment, what we’re seeing is a lot of fashion brands pulling out of Leicester, despite a lot of good work that's taken place in the last few years".

Muller continued, "Workers tell us they don’t have enough money to buy food or school clothes. Food bank usage has rapidly increased, and factories are all without orders. What we want now is to make sure that brands accept that they are the ones responsible for this".

When asked what needs to happen now, a group of workers stated: "Work. That's the most important thing that we want. We want work. We don’t want to rely on government benefits. We don’t want to rely on [the] food bank. We don’t want to stay here in poverty.

"We want proper work, legal work. We want long-term contracts, we want fixed hours, we want National Minimum Wage, we want all the workers' rights that every other worker in Leicester is getting, except for the garment industry. That's what we want".

‘We Can’t Eat, We Can’t Feed Ourselves’: Leicester’s Garment Workers Have Had Enough
Leicester’s garment manufacturers are notorious for allegations of modern slavery and dangerous working conditions. Sick of their mistreatment at the hands of factory bosses, workers are organising to demand an end to their exploitation.

Weather forecast

by Rhys Everquill

⛅ 🌁 This week: A cold and frosty start, with a mixture of wind, mist and fog patches. Some sunny spells. Heavy rain and winds will start to draw in as we move towards the end of the week. 

🌧️ Next week: The following week, perhaps turning a little less unsettled, but still some intense rain and winds. Temperatures will be around average.

Source: Met Office

In the news

by Rhys Everquill

  • Council finances. Officers say Leicester City Council will overspend in multiple areas over the next few years as education, children's care and homelessness top spending. Read more
  • Easy Life. The Leicester band has said they will change their name after EasyJet brand owner started legal action against them. Read more
  • Ashby Fire Station. Police appeal for witnesses to burglary after life-saving specialist equipment and tools. Read more
  • Community grants. This week is the last chance for Leicester groups to apply for anti-poverty community grants. Read more
  • Ash Field Academy. Support staff at Leicester SEND school announce update in their fight for fair pay. Read more
  • Coalville GP. Two patients tell their stories after receiving crucial care from air ambulance crews after suffering a cardiac arrest. Read more
  • COP28. Children invited to create ideas about how to limit climate change ahead of the international summit. Read more
  • Halloween. A trail of giant, inflatable monsters has descended upon the city. Scary! Read more

What's On

by Leah Everquill

🚨 – Last chance
💷 – Entry fee
🆓 – Free of charge

Curve is running a series of activities for Black History Month featuring performances from Contrast Steel Band and Carol Leeming (a member of The Gazette – join here!).

Grab a discount across restaurants in the city this week. Prices start and will be fixed at £5 to £25, with menus available across brunch, lunch and dinner.

As mentioned, explore the city centre this Halloween to discover a series of giant, inflatable monsters. There are eight in total. Can you find them all?

Leicester's giant wheel reappears on the Golden Mile ahead of Diwali this year. Known as the Diwali Wheel of Light during the festival, standard tickets start at £7 per person and offer a spectacular glimpse of Melton Road's Diwali decorations.

Leicester's shoe collection is on display at Newarke Houses Museum for the rest of the year and into the next. 

On the market

by Rhys Everquill

A GIF showing the interior of a beautiful Victorian/Edwardian house in Ratby

The Old Rectory in Ratby boasts all its original features, including open fires, fireplaces, joinery, floors, and service bells. It is an extremely rare opportunity to own a home in its original form from the Victorian/Edwardian period.

Price: £750,000

Check out this 5 bedroom detached house for sale on Rightmove
5 bedroom detached house for sale in The Old Rectory, Ratby, LE6 for £750,000. Marketed by Smiths Property Experts, East Leake

Sports highlights

by David Landwehr

  • GT Racing: The British GT and GB3 Championship are coming to Leicestershire on 21-22 October. Visit Donington Park to see everything from McLarens to Mercedes at top speed. Read more
  • Snooker: Leicester's very own Mark the Shark Selby is in hot water after choosing to attend a lucrative Macau-based championship instead of the Northern Ireland Open. Read more
  • Football: The Lionesses are set to go head-to-head with Belgium at Leicester's King Power Stadium on 27 October. Read more

Food and drink

by David Landwehr

Photo of Butter Chick Masala at Harrisons Spice

After sampling a series of dishes, the absolute standout at Harrisons Spice was the Butter Chicken Masala. With no butter shortage in this butter chicken, I can promise it does not disappoint. This is hands down one of the most rich curries I have ever had. It is paired perfectly with some chips and poppadoms.

Price: £8.45


by Rhys Everquill

Photo of New Bond Street

New Bond Street used to stretch all the way to the top of the High Street but has unfortunately been lost to time. Spotted on Story of Leicester's Facebook page.

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