Local 947

Clothing Retailer Coverup

Some key clothing brands and retailers have embarked on a cover-up in efforts to distance themselves from sub-contracting in their supply chains following revelations of widespread child slavery in India, the global trade union for the textile sector claimed today.

“The buyers in question emphasized that they didn’t want any further use of sub-contractors”, said Mr. Kearney. “But they made it clear that they felt such use was inevitable by telling suppliers that in no circumstances, in future, were their labels to be allowed to go outside the factory. In addition, they warned suppliers not to mention their names in future correspondence or in payments to sub-contractors. ‘Kill the paper trail’, appeared to be the message.

“So rather than tackling the issue of child slavery among their sub-contractors, some brands and retailers appear to be organizing a disgraceful cover-up!

“All brands and retailers should be mapping their entire garment supply chain in India and wherever else sub-contractors are being used. And they should be insisting that every production point is free of child labour and other exploitative labour practices.

“Rather than trying to cover up abuses they should be disclosing their entire supply chain and insisting that sub-contractors be used only in exceptionable circumstances and after prior approval of each individual sub-contractor by the buyer concerned.”

Mr. Kearney indicated that the ITGLWF would be seeking the intervention of the main multi-stakeholder code of conduct initiatives such as the Ethical Trading Initiative, Social Accountability International and the Fair Labour Association to prevent a cover-up and to insist that members be transparent in their efforts to clean up their garment supply chains

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