Latest News:  
Beijing   Cloudy    21 / 14   City Forecast

Home>>China Features

Gucci staff protesting

(Shanghai Daily)

09:21, October 11, 2011

Former employees of Gucci, the luxury goods producer, have lodged a complaint alleging "inhuman working regulations" in a store in south China's Shenzhen City.

Five former shop assistants at the store, who quit their jobs together, said they had been badly treated during their more than two years at the store in the city's MixC Mall and were asking for compensation for unpaid overtime and for physical and mental harm. The assistants are demanding an average of 100,000 yuan (US$15,754) each.

Gucci China, based in Shanghai, confirmed the complaint yesterday and said negotiations between the two sides were ongoing.

"We heard the news days ago but the company just came back from holiday today and there are still a lot of things to confirm and investigate," said Wang Xueqin, the company's public relations manager.

"We also need to report the issue to our headquarters and, considering the time difference, the official press release should be carried out within two days."

In a letter to Gucci management, the former employees said staff at the Shenzhen store had to ask permission if they wanted a drink of water or needed to go to the rest room, where they were allowed to stay for no more than five minutes.

"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."

Employees told Xinhua news agency that they usually worked alternate days for 10 hours but after that they were asked to punch out and continue working so that no overtime payment would be recorded.

"Sometimes we worked till 2am to 3am the next morning in checking goods," said one of the former employees.

According to Xinhua, an employee who was seven months pregnant suffered a miscarriage after hours on the night shift.

The assistants were also held responsible for any goods that went missing and everyone in the store was asked to compensate for the loss, said He, one of the five former employees.

According to staff reports, 16 products were found missing in the store from 2009 to this August with a value of nearly 70,000 yuan.

The money was taken from the shop assistants' salaries.

The five assistants asked Gucci for payment in January but the company denied there was unpaid overtime, they said.

Gucci's evidence was the attendance record and the evaluation of the human resources department in Shanghai, which Yang Qianwu, lawyer for the five, is contesting.

"Firstly, the work after the punching-out was not recorded and the evaluation or permission in Shanghai should not apply in Shenzhen," Yang told reporters.

"The store has been treating employees unfairly and has shunned its responsibilities," Yang said.

Sweatshops and harsh conditions have persisted in some of China's fast-developing regions and are an open secret in the luxury industry.

"Such conditions are not new in this industry and every company and every store works basically in the same way," an insider at a luxury shoe manufacturer said yesterday.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:张茜)

Leave your comment1 comments

  1. Name

Arthur Borges at 2011-10-11115.57.238.*
The Dalai Lama has also been called the Gucci Lama because of his taste for Gucci shoes.
  

Selections for you


  1. Blood transplant expected to save girl

  2. Investment in Yushu’s reconstruction projects totals 14 bln yuan

  3. Free group wedding offered in E China

  4. Rare stone exhibition held in SW China

Most Popular

Opinions

  1. Rich, poor divide at heart of Wall Street protests
  2. Is 3rd round of Quantitative Easing coming?
  3. Income divide causes fiscal crises in Europe, US
  4. China should have own ambitions
  5. China's economic strategy needs revision
  6. Jobs' death highlights China's creative fight
  7. US Senate currency legislation a farce
  8. Why are 26 million Chinese depressed?
  9. Q&A with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
  10. Will China be Europe's savior?

What's happening in China

Burning straw creates heavy fog

  1. Metro's X-ray machines are 'illegal'
  2. Offshore energy equipment sector set to develop
  3. Sex-education textbooks heading to 18 schools
  4. Transport data raise privacy concerns
  5. China to reward welfare lottery buyers

PD Online Data

  1. Challenge to the traditional view of love and marriage
  2. House means happiness? Young Chinese' home-owning dream
  3. Fighting AIDS,China is acting
  4. Worldwide Confusius Institutes
  5. Chinese Qingming Festival