Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Tesco accused of using slave labour

Tesco has been accused of using slave labour after a charity investigation claimed that factory workers in India are paid just 16p an hour.

Charity group War on Want alleges that Tesco sources clothes from a Bangalore factory where workers can earn less than £7 a week. The charity, along with campaign group Labour Behind the Label, will protest at Tesco’s AGM tomorrow.

It follows BBC's Panorama programme on Monday which revealed Primark's suppliers in Southern India had sub-contracted work, and that some of that work was being completed by children. Primark sacked three of its Indian factories as a result.
According to War on Want, employees at a large Tesco supplier factory in Bangalore are struggling to survive on less than £1.50 a day for a 60-hour week.

Simon McRae, senior campaigns officer at War on Want, said: "Our new evidence again reveals how Tesco's cheap clothing comes at the shameful price of workers' poverty. Again and again, scandals exposing UK retailers exploiting garment workers underline that the public cannot trust stores to police themselves. It is high time the British government legislate to stop this abuse."

Martin Hearson, campaigns coordinator at Labour Behind the Label, said: "How many times do we need to hear stories like these before Tesco gets its act together and pays workers a living wage? Every little really does help garment workers living below the breadline, especially as food and rent costs shoot up."

A Tesco spokesperson said: "It's disappointing that War on Want has once again chosen to publicise unsubstantiated allegations without engaging with us. We have been trying to discuss our approach to ethical trading with them for some time but they have simply ignored our calls.

And now out of the blue they make these allegations without producing any evidence or giving us any detail on the factories they claim have problems. This means we cannot investigate, so once again we call on War on Want to provide the evidence and not to hide behind claims that they are protecting workers by withholding evidence.

We insist on high standards and go to great lengths to ensure our suppliers meet them. If there is an issue in a factory supplying Tesco we will deal with it and ensure that the interests of workers are protected."

Readers' comments (1)

  • In 16p in india you can esily have 3 times meal and can still save some money.

    Thats the normal wage as in India cost of living is not expensive as it is in other countries.

    I don't understand why people dont see cost of living with earning.

    In london people earn £ 6.00 minumum per hour but if we look at the expenses -u cannot save anything.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.