Marketwatch: Gap’s Sweatshop Practices Continue

October 29, 2007

Human rights issues, and the PR spin that comes with them continue to dog the Gap as the clothing company today is dealing with new allegations of “sweatshop” labor practices. According to Marketwatch:

In a statement released later Sunday, Gap said it was only informed of the sweatshop earlier this week, and “immediately launched” an investigation. Gap said it found that “a very small portion of a particular order placed with one of its vendors was apparently subcontracted to an unauthorized subcontractor without the company’s knowledge or approval.”

While it is expected that they would take immediate action, why does the company need to be informed of their own practices by media reports? To their credit, the Gap implemented an intensive new program in 2004 to audit sub-contractors, however many have abused the program, making it easier to hire child workers. The Marketwatch story cites a London Observer report that detailed, “youngsters who told reporters they had been sold to factory bosses by their families, and were not allowed to leave until they had repaid that fee.”

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