Tesco accused of exploiting clothes workers

Another story from the Metro:

Tesco accused of exploiting clothes workers
Thursday, December 7, 2006

Workers are paid just 5p an hour to churn out cheap clothes for major high street chains, a charity has claimed.

The sweatshop staff in Bangladesh are made to labour for 80 hours a week and are bullied by bosses to lie about their pay and conditions.

In return, they earn barely a third of the living wage as they risk their lives in factories where owners have locked emergency exits.

The clothes they make, according to War On Want, end up on the shelves of Primark, Tesco and as part of the George range at Asda.

War On Want chief executive Louise Richards 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 claims are in a report, Fashion Victims, based on interviews with workers at six factories which employ more than 5,000 people in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

Wages in the factories start at just £8 a month. They can rise to £16 a month for sewing machine operators but workers complain it is still not enough to cover food, housing and medical bills.

The working day is a minimum of ten hours but some staff work every day in the factories, clocking up to 96 hours a week.

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