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India: Denim factory has license suspended after deadly factory fire; Includes comments from intl. brands linked to factory

Author: New York Times, Published on: 12 February 2020

"Lone Door Led Out as Fire Burned Indian Factory of US Denim", 12 February 2020

... [W]orkers in an Indian denim factory struggled to claw their way up a ladder to a door, their only exit as a fire blazed... officials say. Seven people died...

Nandan Denim, has ties to major U.S. retailers, according to its website... [I]t supplies... to more than 20 global brands including... Target, Ann Taylor, Mango and Wrangler, and its sister company supplies Walmart and H&M.

Some of the... companies listed on the website said they were not actually customers, and many issued statements that strongly condemned dangerous work sites. Nandan Denim is one of the largest denim suppliers in the world...

Police investigators said the factory had violated multiple regulations and the owner, a manager and a fire safety officer have been arrested... [A]uthorities have asked the company to close until further notice. Its licenses have been suspended, and Nandan Denim has agreed to pay the families of those killed a reported $14,000 each...

Surviving workers, who are paid about 35 cents per hour, said conditions had been dangerous.... [They] work almost 14 hours a day... stitching more than 400 pieces... forc[ing] many of them, mostly women, to work at a frantic pace...

Some... brands contacted, including Ann Taylor, Target, Zara and Pull&Bear, said they... don’t have a relationship with Nandan Denim. Target said it is working to get its name off their website and out of their annual reports... Inditex said Nandan Denim has produced 10,000 pairs of jeans for another of its brands...

Walmart and H&M... said they would also look into the situation. Kontoor Brands, maker of Wrangler jeans, said they last worked with the factory in 2014...

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