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French retailer faces legal action in wake of Bangladesh disaster

Published on Apr 24, 2014 11:13 PM

LILLE, France (AFP) - Three organisations said Thursday they had filed a judicial complaint against French supermarket giant Auchan in the first such case in Europe in the wake of the deadly Bangladesh factory disaster a year ago.

Auchan says it had never placed any orders at the Rana Plaza garment factory which collapsed on April 24 last year after a catastrophic structural failure, leaving 1,000 people dead.

But the three lobby groups, in a complaint filed with a public prosecutor in France, accused Auchun of misleading customers about working conditions overseas and claim that an investigation found labels from the chain's "In Extenso" range in the rubble.

Sherpa, a non profit organisation for the "victims of economic crimes", Peuples Solidaires (People's Solidarity), and the Ethique sur l'etiquette (Ethics on Labels) collective, claim a number of witnesses - including some in Bangladesh - are available to provide evidence, and have called for the prosecutor to carry out a preliminary investigation as soon as possible.

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