High street fashion retailer Zara is under investigation over allegations of slave labour at factories in Argentina, where workers are claiming to be producing clothes in “degrading” sweatshop conditions, it has been reported.
Workers’ rights group La Alameda claims that it has discovered immigrant workers, including children, working more than 13 hours and day to produce garments for the retailer, and that the labourers, most Bolivian, were also prevented from leaving the factory without permission.
The allegations reported in The Daily Mail, added that the clothes being produced in the sweatshop included items for the Zara Man fashion line, which is sold in British stores.
Juan Gomez Centurion, head of the country's health and safety watchdog, said: "We found men and children who lived in places where they worked.
"They were not registered and they were living in terrible conditions. They had no official documents and were held against their will, they were not allowed to leave their workplaces without permission."
Zara, part of Inditex, has denied the allegations and released the following statement: “We are surprised by the allegations. Based on the limited information we have received so far, the workshops in question do not appear to have any relationship with our approved suppliers in Argentina.
"We are keen to work with La Alameda to understand the substance of their allegations, but we have received no contact from them regarding these claims, nor have we had any contact or complaint from the Argentinian authorities."