Gucci headquarters has responded swiftly to complaints of inhumane working conditions in its store in Shenzhen, China.
Store employees banded together to report the problems to their local newspaper, the Global Times. The workers complained that they were required to work many hours without pay or snack and toilet breaks. They reported that the conditions resulted in urinary and stomach illness and even miscarriages.
"It was a kind of torture for us to stand for more than 14 hours every day," they said in the letter. "Short rest, water, or food was abandoned even for a pregnant employee."
The complaints trickled through to Gucci headquarters, who promptly investigated the matter and replaced the senior manager and assistant manager at the center of the scandal. It also established a confidential communications channel between senior management and staff to facilitate further talks. Management training programs have also been revamped, with renewed emphasis on employee welfare and working conditions. Gucci has also recruited external consultants to conduct a "comprehensive review" of the welfare of its staff in China.
"Gucci does not and will not endorse or tolerate the alleged malpractices," a spokesperson reiterated. "Gucci always sets and seeks to achieve high standards for itself, its management, people and products, wherever we operate our business."
I'm impressed by Gucci's decisive actions, but also concede it really had no choice. China is one of the label's key markets, and it can ill afford the bad press. After all, there are many other prestige labels just waiting to take the dollars of the luxury loving Chinese fashionistas.
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