Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights report re alleged abuses at supplier factories in Bangladesh
July-August 2012 update – scroll down
On 8 March 2012, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights published a report, “Chinese Sweatshop in Bangladesh”, calling on major brands to move immediately to stop beatings, imprisonment and firing of hundreds of workers at their supplier plants, Rosita Knitwears and Megha Textile (Megatex), in Bangladesh. In its report the Institute singled out Peek & Cloppenburg/Van Graaf, British Home Stores (part of Arcadia Group), Coles (part of Wesfarmers), Dressmann (part of Varner Group), Celio, de Bijenkorf (part of Selfridges), Fynch-Hatton and Smart Set (part of Reitmans) as the brands sourcing from the factories in Bangladesh.
On 14 March 2012, the Institute issued a statement, “European Retailers respond to prison-like conditions at Bangladeshi Supplier”, which includes responses to the allegations by British Home Stores, Dressman and de Bijenkorf.
In March 2012, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the other companies mentioned to respond, and in April 2012 invited the owner of Rosita and Megatex factories, South Ocean Group, to respond as well.
Company responses and non-responses
- Celio [PDF]
- Coles (part of Wesfarmers) [PDF]
- Fynch-Hatton [DOC]. The company also sent this: Rosita Knitwears audit [PDF]; Rosita Knitwears audit questionnaire [PDF]; Rosita Knitwears social audit report [PDF]; Letter to customers from Rosita Knitwears [DOC]
- Peek & Cloppenburg/Van Graaf [DOC]
- Smart Set (part of Reitmans) declined to respond
- South Ocean Group [DOC]
July-August 2012 update
On 20 July 2012, the Institute issued a follow-up statement, “Rosita and Megatex Factories: significant improvements made while several serious violations continue”, which stated, “significant improvements have been made in regard to respect for labor rights and working conditions at the Rosita and Megatex factories. However, ongoing serious problems still need to be addressed.” This article also responded to previous statements by South Ocean and Verité, and urged Business and Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), which was involved in auditing Rosita and Megatex, to undergo a serious evaluation and remediation plan to restore its credibility.
In July-August 2012, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre obtained responses from BSCI, South Ocean and Verité.
- Business and Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) [DOC]
- South Ocean Group responded that Verité's email of 24 July 2012 sufficiently covered the issues, and therefore did not provide a separate response
- Verité, 24 July 2012 [DOC]