India: Investigation by the Guardian finds workers confined in factories supplying Hugo Boss & major UK brands

Author: Peter Bengsten, The Guardian, Published on: 8 January 2018

"Workers held captive in Indian mills supplying Hugo Boss", 4 Jan 2018

[A] Guardian investigation into the confinement of thousands of young migrant workers on factory premises in Tamil Nadu found that Best Corporation, the company used by Hugo Boss, also supplies garments to high-street brands including Next and Mothercare.

“Hugo Boss has been in regular contact and intensive exchange with the body-wear supplier to work on changes together and to achieve improvements in the mentioned areas,” the company said in a statement...

Factory owners say the policy is necessary to ensure worker safety in largely rural areas...

The Guardian found evidence of worker confinement at premises belonging to Sulochana cotton mills, which supplies Primark, and Sri Shanmugavel mills, which feed into Primark and Debenhams’ supply chains...

Best Corporation acknowledged that it restricts workers’ freedom of movement outside the factory premises, because of the rural location of many of its factories. It said it has taken steps to address worker grievances, including establishing a worker committee, inviting local NGOs to train supervisors on workers’ rights, and funding an independently run telephone helpline for workers... [includes comments by Next, Mothercare, Primark & Debenhams]

Read the full post here

Related companies: Associated British Foods Debenhams Hugo Boss Mothercare Next Primark (part of Associated British Foods)