Japanese fast-retailer Uniqlo has been severely criticized by the report of the Hong-Kong based nongovernmental organization Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), who accused the company’s suppliers in China of harsh working conditions.

SACOM’s investigation was conducted from July to August 2014 at two suppliers of Uniqlo in the Chinese province of Guangdong: Pacific Textile Ltd and Donguang Luenthai Garment Co. According to the organization’s report, besides undercover investigation, the methodology consisted of more than 30 qualitative interviews with workers.

The key findings of the research are listed as follows: excessive working hours and low basic wages; unsafe and risky working environment; harsh management style and punishment system; unrepresented workers. The report is accompanied by several images apparently taken in the affected factories.

Fast Retailing, mother company of Uniqlo, has recently published a response to SACOM’s report online where the company supports only partly the findings of the nongovernmental organization, without specifying though which ones are false: ‘We confirm that, regrettably, the inspection found several problems including long working hours. On the other hand, while the inspection did not reveal some of the problems stated in the SACOM report, Fast Retailing and SACOM have different views on some of the issues described in the report.’ According to the same response, the company has already urged both involved suppliers to resolve their problems immediately and will check up on progress within one month. If no progress happens, the retailers will review whether to engage them in any future business.