Gucci refutes factory conditions claim after TV exposé

Kering’s Gucci label has said an Italian TV exposé that showed Chinese employees working very long hours to make its products was “false”.

On Sunday, state broadcaster RAI aired a programme focusing on factories that make Gucci products and used hidden cameras to allegedly show regulations being broken and 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 and that sell at retail for €1,000.

Gucci in a statement rebutting the claims said the supplier had proved that it had addressed and mostly solved irregularities in working conditions. Gucci added: “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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