NEWS > BUSINESS > UNITED NATIONS LOOKING INTO TORTURE ACCUSATIONS AT GUCCI STORE
UNITED NATIONS LOOKING INTO TORTURE ACCUSATIONS AT GUCCI STORE
October 16 2011
Shenzhen, China – At least two members of upper management have been fired and a thorough investigation has begun after allegations of abuse and torture at a Gucci store in China.
Among the claims presented, workers have said they were not allowed food or water during their 14 hour shifts, no breaks, even for pregnant women. Already the city and Gucci have begun an investigation into the claims, but that may not be enough for the United Nations which has already started its own probe into the conditions at the retail outlet.
“We have been made aware of the accusations and we are working with local officials and the company to try and determine exactly what has gone on here. Obviously torture will not be considered acceptable,” said s spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Council. “We often receive similar reports from retail workers around the world but these are amongst the most severe we have yet received. While we understand that most
employees consider their jobs torture, the United Nations has very specific criteria for that type assessment and generally those complaints do not meet those requirements. This may be the exception.”
He workers also claim to not have been paid overtime and would have to pay for goods stolen by customers. A few have also claimed miscarriages.
Gucci has not commented on the UN investigation, but has started its own internal review of the accusations.
“Gucci has proactively engaged external consultants to conduct a comprehensive review to support ongoing actions that can enhance our organisational structure, the welfare and training of our people, talent recruitment and retention and other business practices in China,” the company said in a statement.
They also went onto say that such conditions are not the standard for their company and while they do receive complaints from their locations around the world, rarely are miscarriages a part of those complaints.
“Look, all jobs are tough. Retail can be especially brutal for a variety of reasons but all
jobs are tough. Sometimes you have to work late, sometimes you can’t take breaks when you want to take them, that’s just the way the working world is. Pushing women towards miscarriage though, that’s something else entirely. I mean one is bad, but miscarriages plural is just a little silly,” said Scrape TV Business analyst Ken Green. “I mean one is an isolated incident, but after the second you would think you would look at what you were doing and maybe try to reassess things, change things up a little bit, at least for the preggos. Besides, dead babies in the store isn’t great for business. You have to wonder who they made clean that up. I doubt the U.N. investigation will go very far, but if it does, well that could set a new precedent for retailers and they had better watch out.”
Non-retail workers in China have lined up for the now vacant positions at the store.
William Ashford, Business Correspondent