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Guatemala: Labour rights violations at Nicotex factory supplying Briggs NY, Lane Bryant, says National Labor Committee report

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Company response
18 March 2009

Response by Charming Shoppes: Natl. Labor Committee (US) alleges women workers' rights abused at Nicotex factory, supplying Lane Bryant (part of Charming Shoppes), Briggs New York (part of Kellwood).

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17 March 2009

[PDF] Letter regarding Nicotex [Guatemala]

Author: Charming Shoppes

...we take...allegations [such as those in the National Labor Committee report] seriously, and are thoroughly investigating the situation...[We] do not intend to continue using the factory unless the issues raised in the NLC report and confirmed through our investigations are appropriately addressed... Charming Shoppes will coordinate with the vender and SGS [third-party social auditors] in their work with the factory to formulate and implement a corrective action plan.

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16 March 2009

[DOC] Response by Kellwood/Briggs New York to report regarding Nicotex – Guatemala

Author: Kellwood

The allegations as presented by the NLC are very serious... Therefore, Kellwood immediately launched a review of this factory... Our investigation did find that repairs/improvements need to be made to the facility. We have initiated a compliance improvement plan (CIP) to make certain the factory is compliant for physical and safety conditions and with legal wage and hours standards. As part of the CIP, employees will be provided information regarding their rights as to wages, working hours, vacation, and assembly.

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Company response
12 March 2009

Response by Nicotex to report on labour abuses at its factory in Guatemala

Author: Nicotex Factory

First of all we are really sorry...As our internal and outside company auditors’ investigates, we found some mistakes on control workers during peak production period. Now we have solved major issues – late bonus, overtime work and toilet issue etc...We are really trying to make better working environments with our all efforts now. Repeatedly thanks for your attention on this issue and we’ll show better results shortly and we’ll clean up our negative images shortly...we’ll keep all local labor law and clients compliance regulation continually.

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25 February 2009

Women Exploiting Women [Guatemala]

Author: National Labor Committee & Center for Studies and Support for Local Development (CEADEL)

Women in the U.S. are purchasing clothing sewn by women who are exploited in Guatemala. The Nicotex sweatshop produces clothing for Briggs New York [part of Kellwood] and Lane Bryant [part of Charming Shoppes]...overtime work is common, obligatory and excessive, which is a violation of Guatemalan law... No one can leave the factory until the day’s production goal— arbitrarily set by management and which workers say is excessively high—is completed... Wages fall short of even a poverty-level existence.

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