Primark criticised in Germany over poor conditions of Sri Lankan suppliers

Author: Derek Scally, The Irish Times, Published on: 12 June 2019

Germany is marking the 50th birthday of fast-fashion giant Primark [...] with [...] a new report flagging what its authors call low-cost fashion’s high human cost.

The Christian Initiative Romero (CIR) says it interviewed 73 Sri Lankan employees of six named supplier factories to Primark... None are meeting the retailer’s code of conduct; some are in breach of local law...

After a 2013 factory collapse in Bangladesh, a series of exposés and international outcry, Primark says it audits suppliers to guarantee conditions of local workers. All employees interviewed for the German report said they were instructed to work less and treated better during auditor visits...

Primark said: “We take the monitoring of the standards we expect in our suppliers’ factories very seriously and where issues are discovered, either by audits, third parties or workers, we will always fully investigate.” The retailer said it only sources from three of the six factories mentioned in the report. Of the three other factories mentioned in the report, one ceased to be an approved supplier in 2018 and the other two are not approved suppliers. “Regardless of this, we do not tolerate unapproved subcontracting and will fully investigate the claims made in the report.”

“Through our audit process carried out in each of the factories in the past three-eight months, we found a small number of issues in these three sites, including one worker who was working excess overtime. As is our policy, the Ethical Trade team is working with these suppliers to address the issues found and to monitor progress.”

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Related companies: Associated British Foods Primark (part of Associated British Foods)