Uniqlo parent company pledges to improve factory working conditions in China

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
26 January 2015

Fashion retailer Uniqlo’s parent company has pledged to reduce working hours and improve conditions in two Chinese garment factories following criticism from activists.

Fast Retailing, which owns Uniqlo, has also promised to ensure fines and punishments are eliminated at the factories following reports that workers were losing pay if products were found to have dirt or flaws on them.

The firm has taken action after Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) produced a report on Pacific Textiles and Dongguan Luen Thai Garment Company that said workers faced long hours, low basic wages, a “high risk and unsafe working environment” and a “harsh management style and punishment system”.

Fast Retailing said it had asked the factories concerned to: record working hours and reduce them where they did not comply with its code of conduct, increase holidays, review working environments and establish a workers’ union. The company will also increase the number of its announced audits and offsite interviews with workers and introduce a hotline.

Yukihiro Nitta, group executive officer for CSR at Fast Retailing, said: “Respecting human rights and ensuring appropriate working conditions for the workers of our production partners are top priorities for Fast Retailing, and in this we are completely aligned with SACOM.”

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