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Activist Who Brought Sweatshop Conditions of Kathie Lee Gifford's Walmart Line to Light in 1990s Targets Kardashian Products
Charles Kernaghan, the "man who made Kathie Lee cry," has his sights set on the
konditions conditions of workers that make Kardashian products.
"The Kardashians are in bed with some pretty bad people," Kernaghan, executive director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, told Star Magazine. "Not only are celebrities like the Kardashians taking advantage of these workers, they are holding hands with a government that spits on democracy and women's rights."
Kernaghan says that he has launched an investigation into the rights of Chinese workers that produce apparel for a few of the many, many Kardashian lines, including K-Dash by Kardashian label, the Kris Jenner Kollection and ShoeDazzle (though not the Kardashian Kollection at Sears). These items are produced in factories in the Guangdong region of China.
Kernaghan's group has not definitely linked Kardashian products to specific factories. Its claim is that worker abuses in the Guangdong region are so rampant, it would be a surprise if the factories producing Kardashian apparel weren't abusive. Kernaghan — the man who brought the sweatshop conditions of the Kathie Lee Gifford Walmart line in the 1990s — said that workers in Guangdong often work in unsafe, inhumane conditions for little pay.
"You can't talk during working hours," Kernaghan told Star Magazine. "You can't listen to music; you can't stand up and stretch. You can't even put your head up and look around, or you will be screamed at. If you get permission to use the toilet, you get four minutes. If you're highly specialized, you cannot even go to the bathroom."
Human rights groups are asking the Kardashians to name the factories where their apparel is produced. They say they have dispatched undercover agents to find out more about worker conditions.
Robert Shapiro, a friend of the family and owner of ShoeDazzle, denied the allegations to TMZ through a rep for the company Deborah Benton. "This issue of child labor is of paramount importance to us. We've been very focused on this from the very beginning," Benton told TMZ. She added that factories are routinely inspected and always pass inspection.