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Bangladesh’s Next Collection factory faces assault, abuse charges

A Bangladesh factory that sews garments for The Gap and Old Navy brands routinely forces workers to work over 100 hours a week and they are slapped, shoved and punched, says a report.It also says workers live in penury, earning 20 to 24 cents an hour, and illegal firings are regular.The 68-page report focuses solely on the Next Collections factory in Ashulia, a thriving suburb of Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital city. The factory employs 3,750 workers and 70 per cent of its production is for The Gap and Old Navy.The report contains allegations about the treatment of pregnant workers.

Charles Kernaghan, Director of the institute, said in the report ‘These abuses have been going on for more than two and a half years.”Laura Wilkinson, a spokesperson for Gap Inc, said the factory in question has been audited for working conditions and “allegations (in the report) don’t align with the audit and worker interviews.”

This shocking report comes after 1,129 garment factory workers, mostly women, died in the Rana Plaza collapse in Savar, an industrial suburb of Dhaka, on April 24, 2013.It is believed to be the deadliest garment-factory accident in history.