Friday, April 24, 2020

Esquel opposes use of forced labor

In recent months Esquel has been included in a number of reports that accused, without any substantiating evidence, that we use forced labor in Xinjiang. This is completely false and deeply upsetting, given Esquel’s commitment to fair labor practices and our respect for our employees. I therefore wanted to make a clear statement publicly: we do not use forced labor, and we will never use forced labor.

Those reports failed to recognize that Esquel follows a competitive recruitment and interview process that is the same one we use for all candidates throughout the world. All our employees, including any minority groups such as Uighurs, were not coerced to join us and they are paid and respected for their work the same as any other Esquel employee. Multiple independent auditors have already validated that we do not use forced labor anywhere in our company. The audits also verify that all Esquel employees have the freedom to leave the workplace at the end of the day, terminate their employment and leave for personal reasons. Employees of any race, ethnicity, or gender are treated and paid on a standard pay scale that is consistent across skill levels. In Xinjiang for example, our employees earn significantly higher than the minimum wage, receive benefits and development opportunities, and enjoy good working conditions. We are proud of our work in Xinjiang.

We hope this statement sends a clear message to all concerned parties that we do not want to be wrongly accused of using forced labor. We are truly grateful to our employees for closely upholding Esquel’s ethical values, and to many of our partners who have expressed support for us. We are thankful to have this shared commitment to respecting and treating fairly all workers.