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On 5 April, an Italian court issued a judgment against Giorgio Armani Operations for allowing illegal subcontracting to companies where labour abuses took place. The company has been placed under judicial administration for one year. This appears to be part of a wider investigation into labour abuses in the sector in Bergamo and Milan.

  • According to reports, on 5 April an Italian court issued a judgment against Giorgio Armani Operations (Armani Operations), a subsidiary of Armani Group, over its subcontracting of manufacturing to companies where labour abuses took place.

About the case

  • According to reporting, the investigation was launched by the Milan public prosecutor’s office. Police officers began onsite inspections of factories involved in the production, packaging, and marketing of Giorgio Armani bags in December 2023. 
  • Four unauthorised subcontractors run by Chinese nationals in Milan and Bergamo were found. These subcontractors manufactured and sold the bags to companies, which in turn sold the items to Armani Operations. This arrangement was in place from 2017 until February 2024 when the last police raid occurred. The subcontractors are not named in the reports.
  • The court identified several serious labour violations in the subcontracted factories
    • The factories employed migrant workers from China and Pakistan, often without legal papers. Workers were not provided with formal contracts
    • Workers were paid only two to three euros per hour and worked an average of 10 hours per day. In some cases, they worked seven days a week
    • Workers were forced to eat and sleep in illegally constructed dormitories within the factories where they were subject to unhygienic conditions
    • Workers used machinery with safety devices “purposely and maliciously removed”, and they worked with dangerous chemical substances. They were also denied medical examinations or training.
  • The court placed Armani Operations under judicial administration for one year “for culpably failing to check the production chain and remaining inactive despite being aware of the outsourcing of production by the supplying companies”. Under this arrangement, the company will continue to operate, but will be controlled by a court-appointed administrator. 
  • Separately, the factory owners are facing criminal investigations and fines.
  • According to reports, the factories also produced goods for other brands, which may also be implicated. The reports do not name any additional brands.
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