Report: Levi’s, Wrangler, Lee seamstresses harassed, abused

A report from labor rights groups says women sewing blue jeans for Levi’s, Wrangler, Lee and The Children’s Place in several African factories faced sexual harassment and gender-based violence and some were coerced into having sex with supervisors to keep their jobs.

The report released Thursday from the Washington-based Worker Rights Consortium says the brands have agreed to bring in outside oversight and enforcement for more than 10,000 workers at five factories in Lesotho, a poor, mountainous kingdom encircled by South Africa.

The labor rights group investigated Taiwan-based Nien Hsing (NEE’-en shing) Textile factories in Lesotho after hearing from several sources that women who sew, sand, wash and add rivets to blue jeans were facing gender-based violence.

The U.S. companies say they want workers to feel safe. The Taiwan-based company has agreed to develop a code of conduct.

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