Gap fires India firm, calls vendor meeting

Oct. 29, 2007 at 8:25 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Gap Inc. has fired an Indian subcontractor accused of using child labor and called an urgent meeting with its suppliers, the U.S. company said Monday.

The meeting, to be held this week, will "reinforce our policy against child labor," Gap said.

The San Francisco retailer also told United Press International it would not sell any of the 700 children's shirts produced by children in a New Delhi sweatshop.

The shirts had been destined to be sold by U.S. and European GapKids stores this Christmas, a Gap spokesman told UPI Monday night.

Gap also said the children, some as young as 10, were now under the care of the local government.

"As our policy requires, the vendor with which our order was originally placed will be required to provide the children with access to schooling and job training, pay them an ongoing wage and guarantee them jobs as soon as they reach the legal working age," Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility Dan Henkle said.

Gap will work with the local government and Global March Against Child Labor "to ensure that our vendor fulfills these obligations," Henkle said.

Britain's Observer newspaper reported Sunday it had found children making Gap clothes in near-slave conditions. It quoted the children as saying their impoverished families sold them to the sweatshop, where they were beaten, threatened and forced to work long hours without pay.

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