Saturday, May 18, 2024

Giorgio Armani subsidiary shut down for ‘exploiting Chinese workers’

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Investigators said Giorgio Armani Operations had been “incapable of preventing and curbing phenomena of labour exploitation within the production cycle, having not implemented suitable measures to verify the real working conditions or the technical capabilities of the contracting companies”, thus facilitating “the crime of gang mastering”.

Italian media said Manifatture Lombarde was paid €1.6 billion (£1.37 billion) between March 2023 and January 2024 for providing bags, belts and leather accessories through the subcontracting arrangement.

They said the operation had made it possible for the subcontractor to lower production costs, and avoid paying direct taxes, insurance and social security contributions, with no respect for workplace health and safety regulations, holiday entitlements or other benefits.

The court order said workers were made to work at the “exhausting” pace of more than 14 hours a day, were paid as little as €2 to €3 an hour and housed in “degrading” accommodation.

Neither Giorgio Armani Operations nor the 89-year-old stylist, recently named the third richest man in Italy with a fortune estimated by Forbes at over $11 billion (£8.7 billion), is under investigation.

In a statement released on Friday, Giorgio Armani Operations said: “The company has always had control and prevention measures in place to minimise the risk of abuses in the supply chain.”

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