Letter from the Institute to Harvest Rich Concerning Child Labor

December, 01 2006 Share

From: NLC Inbox
Sent: Thu 10/19/2006 11:24 AM
Subject: Response from Charles Kernaghan

TO:  Ms. Nusrat Asha, Director, Harvest Rich

FROM: Charles Kernaghan, National Labor Committee

Dear Ms. Nusrat Asha:

Thank you for your email.   Your response is very important to us.

We are a very small, independent human rights organization lacking staff capacity to handle the large number of phone calls that flood into our office each day.  It is best for you and your colleagues to communicate with us via email at

As you may have seen, we have taken down from our website our initial report on Harvest Rich.  A new report will be posted in a few days.

We are certainly open to the idea of including any new information you may want to send us.  Along with whatever you care to send, specifically we would ask that you concretely address the following issues:

Is the Harvest Rich factory in complete compliance with all Bangladeshi labor laws and core United Nations/International Labor Organization worker rights standards regarding:

1.) The employment of child and adolescent workers;

2.) Wage and hour laws;

3.) Respect for worker rights, including the right to organize.

I would also like to clear up any confusion your colleagues may have.  Our first demand to any multinational corporation that they not cut and run, but rather to keep their production in the factory.  In the case of Harvest Rich, we are requesting that the U.S. and E.U. corporations make a long range commitment to your company, and work together with you to guarantee respect for all legal rights.  Bangladesh desperately needs these apparel jobs and we are glad that Bangladesh's clothing exports to the U.S. are up a solid 23 percent in 2006.

I hope we can work together to turn this into a win-win situation for the workers in Bangladesh, your company and the multinational apparel companies and retailers.

We are very concerned however, about the recent spate of firings at Harvest Rich—with perhaps several dozen workers let go, and we ask you to investigate these dismissals, especially if they are in any way retaliatory.

Thank you for your openness to discuss these very important issues.

Respectfully yours,

Charles Kernaghan