A Milan court has mandated receivership for Giorgio Armani Operations Spa, a key player in the Armani empire, following accusations of employing illegal and undeclared Chinese labor. The decision comes as the result of an in-depth probe led by prosecutors Paolo Storari and Luisa Baima Bollone, alongside the Labor Inspection Unit, into the company’s outsourcing practices.

The Core of the Investigation

The investigation highlighted that Giorgio Armani Operations Spa failed in its duty to ensure fair labor practices within its production lines. According to findings, the company did not adequately monitor its subcontractors, leading to the exploitation of workers through hazardous conditions and below-minimum wages. This neglect has been linked to the company’s pursuit of cost reduction, bypassing social security, insurance, and direct taxes by employing undeclared workers.

Police actions in December 2023 brought the issue to light, uncovering serious irregularities in factories run by Chinese nationals in Milan and Bergamo. Inspectors found 29 workers laboring under illegal conditions, including 12 who were employed without proper legal documentation. The workers were subjected to long hours, low pay, and unsafe living conditions.

In response, the court has imposed over 145,000 euros in fines and administrative sanctions. Additionally, four companies have been temporarily shut down for their failure to comply with safety standards and for utilizing illegal labor.

This court ruling against Giorgio Armani Operations Spa marks a pivotal moment in the fashion industry’s ongoing battle with labor exploitation. As the case unfolds, it serves as a cautionary tale for other companies to adhere strictly to labor laws and ethical standards in their operations.