LONDON — Tesco is the latest U.K. retailer to face allegations of human rights violations at factories supplying items for its clothing lines.
Ahead of Tesco’s annual shareholder meeting today, the London-based charity War on Want and the campaign group Labor Behind the Label have alleged that workers in Bangalore, India, are being asked to work more than 60 hours a week for as little as 16 pence, or 32 cents at current exchange, an hour.
“Our new evidence again reveals how Tesco’s cheap clothing comes at the shameful price of workers’ poverty,” said Simon McRae, War on Want’s senior campaigns officer. “It is high time the British government legislates to stop this abuse.”
Tesco said the charity’s claims are “unsubstantiated” and that War on Want ignored the retailer’s attempts to discuss the allegations. “It’s disappointing that War on Want has once again chosen to publicize unsubstantiated allegations without engaging with us,” the company said. “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. We insist on high standards and go to great lengths to ensure our suppliers meet them.”
This story first appeared in the June 27, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.