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Dior is under investigation for labor exploitation

According to the investigation, bags were produced for 53 euros

Dior is under investigation for labor exploitation According to the investigation, bags were produced for 53 euros

The issue of luxury outsourcing returns. Following investigations into Alviero Martini srl and Giorgio Armani Operations srl, the Milan Court has opened an investigation into another brand: Manufactures Dior srl, the Italian production branch of the French giant Dior. Milanese magistrates, coordinated by prosecutors Paolo Storari and Luisa Baima Bollone, accuse the company of failing to prevent and curb labor exploitation in the production cycle, with the aim of maximizing profits by saving on labor costs, employee safety, and fiscal procedures. Dior bags, sold in stores for 2,600 euros, cost the French giant only 53 euros. They were produced by exploited Chinese workers in factories located in the Milan and Brianza areas. Manufactures Dior srl allegedly facilitated these exploitation dynamics by failing to verify compliance with labor regulations. The judicial administration ordered by the Court aims to rectify these relationships with supplier companies and their subcontractors.

The investigations, which began in March 2024, involved four factories. In particular, two companies active in the production of leather goods: Pelletterie Elisabetta Yang and New Leather srl. In these warehouses, the police would have found workers in Victorian factory conditions. In a factory in Opera, near Milan, the carabinieri found 17 Chinese and 5 Filipino workers, working among solvents and flammable glues, on tampered machines to increase productivity. The workers, many without regular contracts, lived in the warehouse, where there was a kitchenette, seven sleeping rooms, and two bathrooms in precarious sanitary conditions. In Cesano Maderno, three workers even tried to escape upon the arrival of the carabinieri but were stopped. Here too, the working conditions were precarious, with workers instructed to lie in case of inspections. Work activities were in full swing from 6:30 in the morning until late at night, holidays included. According to the ordinance, these are not isolated incidents but rather a well-established production system, in place for decades. Outsourcing the production processes allowed costs to be cut by not paying contributory, salary, and tax charges. In total, 32 workers were found, 7 of whom were off the books and 2 illegal, with wages below minimum thresholds, in unhealthy and unauthorized environments, without safety devices to protect workers from chemical agents.

According to the judges, Manufactures Dior did not verify the actual entrepreneurial capacity of the contracting companies, proving inadequate in controlling production processes. Five owners of the workshops were also investigated for gangmastering, building abuses, and nonexistent invoices. The fines imposed amount to 138,000 euros, with administrative sanctions totaling 68,500 euros and the suspension of activity for the four subcontracting companies. Following these investigations, the president of the Milan Court, Fabio Roia, suggested the initiation of a discussion table on the fashion sector, similar to that for the logistics sector. The goal is to sign a protocol with the Milan Prefecture, the labor inspectorate, and sector operators to stop labor exploitation in the fashion sector. The investigations show that these are not isolated episodes but systemic exploitation practices, requiring systemic interventions to be eradicated.