Riot at the Rosita knitwear factory in Bangladesh The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights

How to spot a fake factory

19 February 2016

No complaints from workers.

That’s what the auditor’s report said of this Bangladesh factory (pictured). Ten months later, employees wrecked the plant, protesting they’d been jeered at by managers and beaten by guards. If you don’t inspect suppliers properly, can you be confident that a riot isn’t brewing in your supply chain?

The Rosita knitwear factory provides a salutary warning. After the uproar in 2012, the owners ordered a new audit by another company, Verité of Massachusetts. This revealed “harsh treatment” of the labour force by management, including abuse for requesting leave, dismissal for missing work because of a death in the family, and forcing those who turned up late to stand for “many hours without rest”. Monitors also found errors in wages, chemicals labelled only in English, and staff disciplined or fired if they failed to meet onerous production targets. Protesting workers had been beaten by security guards.

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