Tesco's extreme poverty for extreme profit? ~ Tesco-Complaint

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tesco's extreme poverty for extreme profit?

Workers in Bangladesh are regularly working 80 hours a week for just 5p an hour, in potential death trap factories, to produce cheap clothes for British consumers of Primark, Tesco and Asda’s ‘George’ range. The charity War on Want today issued these findings in a new report, Fashion Victims, based on research among employees at six Bangladeshi factories in the capital Dhaka which employ over 5,000 workers, mainly women, making clothes for the three bargain retailers. Meera Syal, star of the television series The Kumars at No 42, is supporting moves for regulation to bring these companies to account.

Primark, Tesco and Asda have all made public commitments to the payment of a living wage to suppliers – commonly calculated to be a minimum £22 a month in Bangladesh. Yet starting wages in the factories researched for War on Want’s report were as little as £8 a month, barely a third of the living wage. Even better paid sewing machine operators receive only £16 a month, which equates to 5p an hour for the 80 hours they regularly have to work each week. The minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh halved in real terms during the 1990s, and many complain their pay is too low to cover food, housing and health costs.

Primark, Tesco and Asda have also pledged that their suppliers must not be required to work more than 48 hours a week on a regular basis, and should have at least one day off in seven on average. But workers interviewed for War on Want’s report can toil up to 96 hours a week – double the supposed maximum – and often lose their day off. Factory owners have forced staff to work up to 140 hours a month overtime, often unpaid, or face dismissal.

Louise Richards, Chief Executive of War on Want, said: “Bargain retailers such as Primark, Asda and Tesco are only able to sell at rock bottom prices in the UK because women workers in Bangladesh are being exploited. The companies are not even living up to their own commitments towards their overseas suppliers.

Jonathan Church, a Tesco Spokesman, tells us that Tesco "deal with [supplier] problems when they find them." Lets see if Tesco turn a blind eye or sit up and act. In the meantime you may wish to think about the extreme poverty of those who make Tesco's clothes before you wander down the clothing aisle.


Anonymous said...

Yes indeed but people are still going to Tesco asda etc and buying cheap clothes and lets face it everyone knows that a £2 t-shirt will be made by a very low waged person. But people want them and buy them because they are cheap. People with money, real money maybe able to afford more expensive clothing but the average person with mortages rising and house prices going through the roof the cost of car insurance rising the cost of petrol rising cannot and will not fork out extra money on clothes from more expensive outlets.

People want cheap theyve got cheap

The Doctor

tesco-complaint said...

Of course many will continue to buy Tesco slavewear but think about it, Tesco are making extreme profits annually of £2bn yet do this by inflicting extreme poverty on their (purposefully indirect) workforce.

The slave trade was meant to have ended but what we have created in its place for this new millenium is a british empire which at it's root is still manned by slave labour and with the Knight Terry Leahy of Tesco at the helm instead of our Kings and Queens of old.

tesco-complaint said...

Tesco's Child Labour:


Anonymous said...

Personally, i don't care. Why don't they join a union?

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