Gucci refutes Chinese factory conditions

Italian luxury house Gucci has been caught in a television scandal that said the company's Chinese employees were working long, arduous hours for little pay to make its products.

Hidden cameras showed Chinese workers in Italian factories

The Kering-owned company said the RAI-aired broadcast was false, despite factories claiming they used hidden cameras to allegedly show regulations being broken, which included Italian workers being sent home and being replaced by Chinese nationals hired as part-timers but actually working more hours than full-time workers.

Aroldo Guidotti of the subcontractor, leathergoods specialist Mondo Libero, was filmed talking about the cost-saving strategy. He also said the workers made bags that he sold to Gucci for 24 euros and that sell at retail for 1,000 euros.

Gucci in a statement refuted the claims stating: "Hidden and inappropriately used cameras, shooting carefully selected supplier companies (three out of a total 576), do not provide for a true or accurate representation of Gucci and its supply chain policies and procedures."

However, it also said it would increase the number of factory inspections and take more action where necessary.

The Tuscan regional government also criticised the programme as being sensationalist but reporters responded via Twitter saying Gucci should be grateful it had highlighted the abuses and also referred to a fire last year that killed seven Chinese nationals who worked in the Italian leathergoods industry.

On the price issue, Gucci said the comparison was misleading because it included only the cost of assembly and left out the cost of raw materials, shipping and packaging.

 

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