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Kik bought clothes from doomed factory

The Local · 19 Sep 2012, 08:35

Published: 19 Sep 2012 08:35 GMT+02:00

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Chairman of the Pakistani clothes manufacturers association PRGMEA, Shehzad Saleem, said the firm which ran the factory, Ali Enterprises, had named Kik as as one of potentially numerous German partners.

Kik, based in Bönen, North-Rhine-Westphalia, is owned by Tengelmann. It admitted on Tuesday it had been buying mostly jeans from the factory in Karachi for years.

The discounter said it was saddened by the 289 deaths in the factory and said it would work with other customers of Ali Enterprises to establish a fund to help survivors, and families of those who died.

It also said it had contracted out the job of making checks on factories – and would now try to find out why this had obviously not worked.

Two years ago Kik published a 90-page sustainability report which stressed the responsibility of contractors for producers, in areas such as work conditions, labour rights, social standards and wages.

The Campaign for Clean Clothes (CCC) criticised Kik, alongside Aldi and Lidl, this year for exerting too much pressure on their producers. “They demand good quality, fast delivery and pay badly,” said Lars Stubbe from CCC.

Countries which promote themselves with low minimum wages add to the pressure on manufacturers, and the results were often what CCC called catastrophic work conditions.

Kik has itself been the focus of criticism in the past – for low wages and a data protection scandal. Since then it has introduced a minimum wage and produced a sustainability report.

Story continues below…

It employs 20,000 staff in more than 3,000 shops across Europe and latest figures showed an annual turnover of €1.66 billion.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:16 September 19, 2012 by venu
ITs true there are companies in germany for whom only profits matter, people must buycott such firms, Poor quality produts? NEIN Danke.

Gut und Günstig? JA
02:22 September 20, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
What's new. Cheap products to keep inflation in line and the big mothership Deutschland floating. Who cares where it all comes from and how it is made? Apart from of course those who are wondering where their jobs have gone and why they are now lifetimers on Hartz IV with the rope being tightened around their neck.
08:56 September 20, 2012 by authun
Pretty much standard procedure for German companies interacting with foreign labor both at home and abroad. That's why few foreigners with any intelligence will settle here.
17:28 September 20, 2012 by raandy
Any one that thinks the standards of these countries , like India,Pakistan,China, Thailand, and others in those regions, have safety standards ,wages or child labor laws like the Western Nations, needs to take their head out of the sand.

We buy it because it is cheaper than what western Nations can produce. The consumer is the enabler.

If we all decide not to purchase these items (if you can find them anymore) in Japan, Germany or the USA ,ect. for more money, what would happen to those families that depend on us purchasing their goods.I don't believe they would be better off anymore than I believe people would pay more

It takes time and a concerted effort by the leaders to achieve the same standards we are accustomed too, when they do achieve these standards the products would no longer be cheap.
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