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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 06:56 GMT
P Diddy in sweatshop row
Sean Combs
Combs is a huge rap star
The US rap performer, P Diddy, has promised to investigate claims his clothing company uses a sweatshop factory in Honduras.

P Diddy, otherwise known as Sean Combs, said he was "shocked" at the allegation by an American organisation campaigning for workers' rights, which said conditions at the factory were wholly unacceptable.

The National Labor Committee (NLC) claimed workers were paid less than a dollar an hour, forced to work overtime, subjected to body searches and dismissed if they got pregnant.

But Combs said at a news conference there would be a "zero tolerance" investigation by his company, Sean John.

If he fixes it, P Diddy can be a hero
Charles Kernaghan
National Labor Committee
He said he grew up among working people and empathised with their struggle.

Combs told journalists: "I'm as pro-worker as they get.

"We are shocked at this information. We are launching an investigation into this matter, and if there is any proof of wrongdoing, we will terminate our relationship with this factory immediately."

Combs said his company, Sean John, had employed a compliance officer to make five inspections of the plant this year.


Many of the allegations came from a 19-year-old worker, Lydda Eli Gonzalez, who says she was dismissed from the factory after talking about the poor working conditions.

NLC leader Charles Kernaghan said: "This is a fixable problem, and if he fixes it, P. Diddy can be a hero.

Honduran garment worker Lydda Gonzalez (centre) holds up a Sean John T-shirt for reporters
Many of the allegations came from a 19-year-old worker (centre)
"We'll do everything we can to help him and to encourage others to support his efforts."

Over the past eight years Mr Kernaghan has targeted several big names in the garment industry including US TV presenter Kathie Lee Gifford, Gap and Liz Claiborne.

Rapper and producer Combs, who previously used the name Puff Daddy, is best-known for his 1997 hit I'll Be Missing You.

He is also a renowned record producer, working with artists such as Mary J Blige, and owns his own record company, Bad Boy Records.

His former girlfriend is pop star and actress Jennifer Lopez, who has her own range of J-Lo clothing and perfumes.

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