Tesco admits wage abuses in garment supply chain

Tesco says it has detected labor abuses in the garment supply chain in southern India, following evidence that large-scale forced labor of migrant women is being carried out at a cotton spinning mill in Tamil Nadu. ۔

The supermarket said its supply chain is linked to a spinning mill, which includes New report Through NGOs Sumo and Arisa, which have found evidence of multiple labor abuses in the region, including fraud, intimidation and threats against vulnerable female workers, illegal work and living conditions, and overtime.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We take allegations of human rights violations in our supply chain very seriously; while the mill is not a direct customer, we recognize our responsibility to everyone in our supply chain. And investigating with other brands and with Sumo. And make sure it’s improved. “

“We don’t get enough sleep. We always have to work. We often have to work two shifts and sometimes three shifts. It makes us feel tired and uncomfortable,” said a researcher working in a mill. But we can’t rest.

Another added: “I spend most of my life with machines. Absolutely no contact with the outside world.

Hundreds of workers had no choice but to live miles away from their families and in unpaid vacations and “unhealthy” hostels. The activists set strict limits on their freedom, saying they had to stay in hostels when they were not working and were being closely monitored.

Women in factories and their residences are reported to feel insecure and have been sexually harassed. He described male managers, supervisors, hostel staff and co-workers as touching him inappropriately and making sexual comments, often in the loudness of a machine.

Tamil Nadu’s spinning mills, which supply raw materials to India’s export garment sector, have long been associated with human rights abuses. The Guardian’s 2018 investigation revealed that Hugo Boss had held young female workers captive and prevented them from leaving the premises of garment factories affiliated with his company in Tamil Nadu.

Employed in a garment factory in Trooper, Tamil Nadu, India.
Human rights issues in Tamil Nadu’s textile manufacturing sector have been described as ‘systematic’. Photographer: Bloomberg / Getty

The authors of the report believe that of the 29 mills surveyed, alleged abuse could be reported across the entire Tamil Nadu textile sector.

The report includes the names of international brands, including Next, Sainsbury’s, Gap and Ica, which it claims are directly or indirectly linked to the mill.

Agla said he believed six of the 29 mills included in the report were connected to the supply chain and would be investigated. She also said she would take joint action with Tesco to prevent widespread abuses across the region.

When contacted about the report’s findings, Iika denied any involvement in the report. A spokesman said: “Mill Sumo’s claim has nothing to do with Ikea and is neither a supplier nor a sub-supplier.” That said, Ikea has no legal right to enforce its code of conduct, nor to conduct related audits. It added: “The results of such reports play an important role and we will use them in our future work.”

Gap also denied that its supply chains were linked to any of the mills highlighted in the report. He confirmed to the Guardian that he had sourced from the region and said: “We recognize that the immediate labor and human rights issues in the Tamil Nadu textile manufacturing sector are systemic. And we will continue to work with industry partners and expert organizations to address them. “

Sainsbury said his territory was in the area but had nothing to do with the mills included in the report, which he described as “misleading”. A spokesman said: “All of our suppliers are expected to meet our high ethical sourcing standards. They need to demonstrate this on a regular basis and we will work with our suppliers to address any concerns Work together

  • This article was amended on May 27, 2021. An earlier version had said that Tesco had acknowledged “significant issues” in a spinning mill in the report. To clarify: The supermarket said that its supply chain is linked to the mill included in the report. It was the authors of the report who concluded that there were serious problems.

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