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'Exploited' workers paid £8 a month

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Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:01 pm    Post subject: 'Exploited' workers paid £8 a month Reply with quote

You might want to boycott these stores.
After reading this news, I know I will.

The story is from AOL, and whilst I do know that AOL change their news stories, & remove old ones, then I am copying this article in full for you.

'Exploited' workers paid £8 a month

Last Updated: Friday, 08 December 2006, 08:56 GMT
- Search: Third World sweatshops

Workers in Bangladesh get paid as little as 5p an hour for making cheap chic clothes destined for UK chains, according to a new report.

The garments end up in Primark, Tesco and Asda's George range, according to anti-poverty group War on Want.

It says workers regularly spend 80 hours per week in "potential death trap" factories.

The Fashion Victims report is based on research carried out at six factories in Bangladesh which employ more than 5,000 mainly female workers.

Starting wages at the factories were as little as £8 per month - barely one third of the living wage. This rose to £16 per month for better-paid sewing machine operators.

Some garment workers spend up to 96 hours per week in the factories without even a day a week off. The minimum working day at the factories included in the report was 10 hours.

Many workers complained their pay wasn't enough to cover their food, housing and medical costs.

Primark, Tesco and Asda have all signed up to a set of principles with the aim of providing decent working conditions and a living wage for workers in their supply chain, the report says. But it says those principles are "regularly violated".

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 companies are not even living up to their own commitments towards their overseas suppliers."

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mark occomore

Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 9955
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's nothing new as this has been going on for years. They are not using them as slaves, just not paying them as some workers do in the uk and making them work 80 hours a week. Most workers in those countys have been taking out of prostitution and begging. It's the wong way going about this. So why an't the clothes made in the UK?
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Joined: 08 Dec 2006
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Location: near Amble, Northumberland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simple economics, Mark - companies can get away with buying from suppliers who source clothes in these countries, where labour charges are much, much lower than could be sustainable in the UK. As a nation we're too used to buying goods sold at cheap prices on the back of low labour costs.

People can protest at 'slave labour' all they like but you can bet they would protest even more about having to dig deeper into their own wages each month for the same items. Morals usually go out of the window when the person doing the protesting is directly affected, in my experience.

The UK textile manufacturing base has gone t*ts-up in the last ten five years - several hundred jobs lost up here in the NE alone by one company - but why would a company continue to pay UK wages when they can transfer their operations abroad and pay peanuts for the same output (and gain more profits in the process)?

Note also the recent trend in 'outsourcing' call centre jobs for the same financial reasons. Why pay Dave in Dagenham or Sandra in Sunderland at £6 per hour when you can pay Parveen in Peschawar a fraction of the cost? Plenty of willing applicants to do the jobs though - they have little choice but to work - no handouts for the sick, unemployed or idle.

For argument's sake, lets pick on Tesco - some of the T-shirts in their 'Cherokee' range start at around a fiver or so (the budget lines are even cheaper). If the wages paid to the workers were fixed at the same as the UK minimum wage, you'd probably pay five times the amount instead of a fiver. Then watch the sales figures go down.

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