By  on June 19, 2007

WASHINGTON — The National Labor Committee has added another celebrity's clothing line, as well as a teen retailer, to its long list of labels allegedly produced in sweatshops.

The labor watchdog group released a report on Monday claiming that TV host, model and actress Daisy Fuentes has been using a sweatshop in Guatemala to produce her private label clothing line, which is sold exclusively in Kohl's department stores. The NLC found blouses under the Fuentes brand in the factory, as well as shirts destined for Wet Seal.

Charles Kernaghan, executive director of the NLC, sent a letter to Fuentes to inform her of the alleged squalid working conditions and labor abuses at Fribo S.A. in Santiago Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, and offer assistance in resolving the problems there.

"This Fribo factory has been riddled with violations for years," Kernaghan told WWD. "I think Kohl's dropped the ball miserably and I think the Guatemalan Ministry of Labor dropped the ball miserably, and now I hope Ms. Fuentes intervenes and does the right thing."

Over the years, the NLC has challenged celebrities such as Kathie Lee Gifford, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for allegedly using sweatshop labor to produce clothing lines.

Kernaghan implored Fuentes in the letter not to pull her production out of the Fribo factory.

"What the workers are requesting is that you commit to keep your work in the Fribo factory while working with management to clean up the plant and instituting necessary improvements to guarantee that the legal rights of the workers will finally be respected," Kernaghan wrote in the letter.

The NLC report cited a long list of alleged abuses at the factory, which it said also produces garments for Wet Seal.

Among the allegations were forced overtime, with workers clocking in 60 hours a week, locked exit doors, filthy drinking water and dirty bathrooms, as well as collecting fees from workers for health care, maternity and pension benefits but failing to pay the appropriate government agency, thus depriving the workers of their paid-for benefits.

Calls to Kohl's, Wet Seal and a number provided by the NLC for Fuentes were not returned.

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