STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Hennes & Mauritz AB will blacklist a spinning mill in southern India after a report claimed five manufacturers there use child labor and subjected workers, mostly women and girls, to “appalling” working conditions.
H&M will ban suppliers from using products made by Tamil Nadu-based Super Spinning Mills Ltd., the Stockholm-based company said today. A Bangladeshi supplier has used yarn produced at the mill, though H&M doesn’t have a direct business agreement, spokeswoman Lena Enocson Almroth said in an e-mail. Super was “unwilling to cooperate with H&M in a transparent way.”
The decision follows a report by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, or SOMO, and the India Committee of the Netherlands which said workers face labor conditions “that amount to forced labor in the export-oriented southern Indian textile industry.” The report, which was compiled using a mixture of desk research and interviews on the ground with workers, covers five mills, including Super.
“This report is totally false,” Super Spinning Mills’ Managing Director A.S. Thirumoorthy said by phone from his office in Coimbatore in southern India. “Buyers from H&M and Decathlon regularly come and audit our facilities.”
The mill complies with all Indian regulations relating to labor, and does not employ any children below the age of 15, Thirumoorthy said.
By: Katarina Gustafsson; Adi Narayan; editors: Celeste Perri, Kim McLaughlin and Paul Jarvis.