Jordan: Alleged worker abuses, including rape and beatings, at clothing supplier to Walmart, Target, Macy's, Kohl's, Hanes - includes company responses

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20 June 2011

Sex Abuse Alleged at Apparel Maker [Jordan]

Author: Miguel Bustillo, Wall Street Journal

Jordanian authorities arrested a manager at a factory that makes clothing for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers after a female employee came forward to accuse him of rape, following what an activist group says were years of claims by other women workers of sexual abuse at the plant...Since at least 2007, some workers at Classic Fashion Apparel Ltd...have claimed to a human-rights advocacy group that two factory managers were sexually abusing women. But the factory owner and independent monitors employed by the retailers...said they were never able to corroborate the accounts...[H]owever, a 26-year-old Bangladeshi woman...told Jordanian investigators that she had been raped by the factory's top manager since arriving in March, and she submitted to a medical examination...The company's owner, Samal Kumar, said...that he believes Mr. Santha is innocent. "This is destroying the good name of my factory," he said..."Regarding the rape allegations and arrest, we are awaiting results of the investigation by the Jordanian law enforcement, which is still in progress," Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Gardner said...He declined to elaborate...[Another retailer] Target said it is taking the situation at Classic Fashion "seriously," and will "take the steps necessary to appropriately address any violations." [also refers to Hanesbrands]

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21 July 2011

Major American Brands Silent on Alleged Rights Abuses At Overseas Factories [Jordan]

Author: Janell Ross, Huffington Post [USA]

A month after a prominent human rights group accused major American brands of purchasing clothing from a factory in Jordan that systematically abuses workers, the companies have yet to declare any public action... the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights released a report alleging that workers producing clothing for Walmart, Target, Macy's, Kohl's and Hanes [part of Hanesbrand] at a factory in Jordan have been routinely beaten, underpaid and forced to work hours in excess of what the local law allows...forced to live in bed bug-infested dormitories that lack heat and hot water...The report also alleged a pattern of widespread sexual abuse of female employees at the Classic Brands factory complex...Hanes did not respond to requests for comment. Macy’s, Target, Kohl's and Walmart issued brief statements this week acknowledging the allegations and expressing concern, while declining to answer questions...[Includes text of brands’ statements]

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