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Tesco denies using slave labour

Tesco has denied allegations from charity War on Want that it is using slave labour to make its clothes.

War on Want alleges that it found workers at one of the Indian textile factorys Tesco uses, paying staff just 16p an hour.

However, Tesco has strongly denied the claims, saying they are "unsubstantiated."

Tesco said in a statement: "Out of the blue they make these allegations without producing any 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."

War on Want, along with campaign group Labour Behind the Label, said it will protest at Tesco’s AGM today.

The allegations follow BBC's One's Panorama programme on Monday which showed several suppliers to Primark in Southern India had sub-contracted work to children. Primark sacked three of its Indian factories as a result.

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, added: "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."

Readers' comments (2)

  • Well at least people are starting to recognise this is industry wide now,...

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  • 'Tescopoly' by Andrew Simms sums up the way oligopolies treat suppliers at very lelel.
    If a battery chicken is sold for 3p (after growing from chick to chicken) and ends up @ £2.50, it's not difficult to work out who is getting the bigger slice.

    Thing is, people thought they could have the best of both worlds. Cheap basics from supermarkets plus niche suppies as and when it suited them. Doesn't work like that....but takes a few years for the devastation to unfold and result in less consumer choices. Happening in clothing right now but won't be apparent to Ms Average for another 5 years

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