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21 Dec 2016

Garrett Brown, in The Pump Handle

Hansae Vietnam: Case study of hazardous working conditions and the failure of corporate social responsibility audits to fix the hazards

Investigations by the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) in October 2015 and October 2016, as well as Fair Labor Association (FLA) investigations in July and October 2016, have revealed that a major Korean factory operator in Vietnam producing garments for a dozen international clothing brands runs a sweatshop operation.  Nike and other brands which have contracts with the firm have conducted audits over many years, but working conditions in the factory have failed to improve.

In fact, in 2015 alone there were 26 separate corporate social responsibility (CSR) audits of the 12 factories in the Korean-run complex with 8,000 Vietnamese workers.  Whatever these non-public CSR audits identified as problems, dozens of violations of Vietnamese labor law and the brands’ corporate codes of conduct, as well as conditions producing persistent worker illnesses, have continued to exist...