Fast Retailing’ founder and CEO Tadashi Yanai has come forward to comment on the unsatisfactory conditions at two supplier factories in China for their Uniqlo brand. SACOM, or Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, did an investigation that uncovered a dubious environment for the underpaid workers, which included sewage-flooded floors and overheated workspaces.
“I’m very surprised by the conditions [of workers],” Yanai said. “We had done other investigations before, so I am very surprised and disappointed that those conditions exist in those instances.” SACOM found that employees at the Fast Retailing supplier factories in question were paid a third less than other workers in the area. They also found that employees were not given their due overtime – they received only time and a half, not the appropriate compensation of twice their regular rate.
Yanai calls the woeful situation an “exception,” reassuring everyone that Chinese factories aren’t typically kept in such woeful shape or are run with such recklessness. Fast Retailing already ordered the factories to make changes late last week and we’re hoping they will follow through.