C&A, other brands under fire over Indian factory conditions
The claims are made in a new report by researchers at Somo, which investigates multinational corporations[, and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN)]. They say some 20 European and US brands are using factories in the Indian region of Tamil Nadu, where teenage girls are paid below minimum wage levels and are not allowed to leave the factory compound.
But girls who work for three to four years are promised a bonus of up to €800 which they can use as part of their dowry. This is known locally as the sumangali system. Sumangali means married woman in Tamil, the paper says.
A spokesman told the paper: ‘Eastman had the technical qualities to make products up to C&A standards’ and there is ‘no evidence at all’ that workers are being exploited. Eastman has also denied the claims.
C&A declined to answer questions on the other two factories. ‘No one who does business with the Indian textiles industry is able to avoid direct or indirect contact with the sumangali system,’ the spokesman said.