Aussie grocer linked to Bangladesh factory accused of rights abuses | Connect Asia

Aussie grocer linked to Bangladesh factory accused of rights abuses

Aussie grocer linked to Bangladesh factory accused of rights abuses

Updated 11 April 2012, 15:57 AEST

An international labour group says the Australian supermarket chain Coles is further hurting exploited Bangladeshi garment workers with its decision to "cut and run" from a clothing label described as a "sweatshop" that breaks "every single labour law in Bangladesh".

The reports of extreme exploitation, threats and malicious legal action against workers at the Rosita factory have been made by Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights.

The factory supplied the Mix Clothing range to Coles but it says the workers will now suffer further because Coles has dumped the Mix label.

The group has called for Australian unions to get involved to help Bangladeshi workers stand up for their rights.

Coles declined an interview request, but did issue the following statement:

"All MIX suppliers, including the Rosita plant in question which supplies a small number of lines to Coles, were independently audited by a third party auditor prior to Coles placing orders with them. These audits were conducted to recognised Ethical Audit Protocols and no significant concerns were identified. Following concerns raised recently by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, we arranged for a further audit to be conducted but were unable to progress with this because the management temporarily closed the factory. Coles is not sourcing any further clothing from Rosita and we will not do so until we have completed an independent ethical audit to confirm the status of allegations made about employment standards at that site."

Presenter: Liam Cochrane

Speaker: Charlie Kernaghan, director Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights

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