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Tesco 'in shameful 16p-an-hour work pay'

Munkey

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#1
Shocking new report has claimed that supermarket giant Tesco is paying some workers in a factory in India just 16p per hour.

The investigation, carried out by charity War On Want and campaign group Labour Behind The Label, said Tesco pays textile workers an average of £8.75 for a six-day week.

It claimed the lowest paid staff at the factory in Bangalore were on a wage of just £7 per week.

The figures are to be presented to a Tesco shareholders' meeting in Birmingham tomorrow by the Indian researcher who compiled the report.

Last year Tesco reported profits of £2.8billion - it is estimated that one in every seven pounds spent on Britain's high streets goes to one of its stores.

The damaging allegations say the factory in question makes clothing for Tesco's Florence and Fred range.

The report said the living wage in the region should be £52 a month. It claimed one female worker at the factory, Haneefa, earns just £38 a month.

She said: 'I don't buy anything for myself. I can't save anything from what I earn. It is difficult to survive on this money.'

Simon McRae, senior campaigns officer at War on Want, said: 'Our new evidence again reveals how Tesco's cheap clothing comes at the shameful price of workers' poverty.

'Again and again, scandals exposing UK retailers exploiting garment workers underline that the public cannot trust stores to police themselves. It is high time the British government legislate to stop this abuse.'

Martin Hearson, campaigns coordinator at Labour Behind the Label, said: 'How many times do we need to hear stories like these before Tesco gets its act together and pays workers a living wage?'

A spokesman for Tesco said:' They have published unsubstantiated allegations without engaging with us.

'They won't tell us where these factories are or who's working within them.'

When asked if the wage figures were accurate, he said: 'We don't know because they won't substantiate them.

'We have been trying to discuss our approach to ethical trading with them for some time but they have simply ignored our calls.

'And now out of the blue 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, so once again we call on War on Want to provide the evidence and not to hide behind claims that they are protecting workers by withholding evidence.

'We insist on high standards and go to great lengths to ensure our suppliers meet them. If there is an issue in a factory supplying Tesco we will deal with it and ensure that the interests of workers are protected.'

Source http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=193152&in_page_id=34
 
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#3
It's sickening.

I may not be as socialist as I used to be (experience chipped away at me), but I am not ultra capitalist, and never will be.

How can anybody live with themslves, knowing how their shares increase by people languishing in poverty like that?

I've always said this. Public limited companies have to grow. They cannot just make a profit, their profit needs to be greater than the previous year. It is an inexorable continuum.

It would be great if supermarkets had two prices, where the more expensive price, included a bonus for the people who made the item/garment/etc. (Obviously, this would have to be transparent)

£7.99 for a t-shirt, or £10 with bonus. Just an idea.

I know some proprietors are 'fair trade' so perhaps the solution is not to shop at Tesco.

I dunno. It's a mess.
 

Munkey

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You can't ask for transparency from the supermarkets mozr, the door would be slammed in your face.

I'm just happy that journalists are not afraid to write such stories against the mighty Tesco and that the publisher has the bottle to print it.

It's a small start.

Nice 'fair trade' idea though :)
 

K

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#5
I would tend to disagree on this from.. £28 to live on in india is allot of money.. infact 1 INR = 0.0118334 GBP.... that's 2,300 INR a month..

and going off the stats pull from expatsforum that allot of money..

A kilo of tomatoes or most vegetables cost approximately 11.00 INR, a loaf of bread comes for about 9.00 INR, Half-kilogram butter for 54 INR, 10 eggs for 21.00 INR, a pack of cigarettes for 29 INR

This is diferent from town to town and can vary on the size of the town/city where you live..

Im not sure how much the rent is in the slums of india and i suppose for me that would be the deciding factor.. I did watch a program on india a few weeks back,... rich british kids living and working soley on the wage they earnt..

Sure i agree, the workers could/should earn a bit more only because tescos is not an indian company and definatly doesnt have to grow..but for a indian company i suppose the rates stated in the origional post would be adaquete...
 

scott-ayling

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#6
Sounds like they are getting pennies but like Kalipo says prob a decent wage over i dont't know as never been to India or dont know how much the avrg person makes and how much houses are etc
 

gooner71

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#7
The trouble with this world is there is always someone willing to make something cheaper than the next man. If the Indian companies refused to make a product for a cheap price the multi nationals would just get the stuff from say China. The governments of these countries like the inward investment no matter what the end result is for the workers so long as they get their kick back!!

It seems harsh on these workers and its highlighted in the papers that its Tesco's fault but, if you were a share holder in tesco you expect the buyers to get the best deal for the product to maximise your investment??

Tesco is an easy target because they are well known and massively successful but take the electronics industry. We are all happy to buy a dvd player for less than £20 or an MP3 player for a fiver but I dont see big stories about peasants in Taiwan earning peanuts and how Currys's etc are exploiting them???

Ive read loads about the Communist/Socialist ideals and my conclusion is that no matter how good the theory of perfect equality is there is too much greed ingrained in human nature for it ever to work - some will always be more "equal" than others. So until a better system comes along the free market economy is the way forward. Hopefully as in the example of China and to some extent India in recent times the poorer countries will be able to lift themselves out of poverty. As this country did many years ago, it starts with manufacturing and progresses to a service based industry over time!!!
 

beady

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#8
Based on some rough calculations, let's use the pack of cigarettes as the base. Now, they're (or used to be) about £5 a pack in the uk (I know it's heavily taxed here, but if the relative price is lower in India it just makes the following worse).
2,300 INR / 29 INR = 79 packs per month.
At uk costs, that's £5x79 = £395 per month uk money,
Assuming a 4 week month, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day (all of which I'm sure grossly underestimate the work carried out), that's about £2.50 per hour equivalent, or about half the minimum wage. If we use a more realistic 'cost of cigs' metric (say £2.50 without the tax, I've no idea really), you're down to about a pound an hour.

I think it's scandalous, especially for work that is at least semi-skilled.
 

Gavvodka

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#9
thats not bad if they want to save up and get these -http://www.digitalworldz.co.uk/index.php?threads/180308/
 
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Munkey

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#12
I would tend to disagree on this from.. £28 to live on in india is allot of money.. infact 1 INR = 0.0118334 GBP.... that's 2,300 INR a month..

and going off the stats pull from expatsforum that allot of money..

A kilo of tomatoes or most vegetables cost approximately 11.00 INR, a loaf of bread comes for about 9.00 INR, Half-kilogram butter for 54 INR, 10 eggs for 21.00 INR, a pack of cigarettes for 29 INR

This is diferent from town to town and can vary on the size of the town/city where you live..

Im not sure how much the rent is in the slums of india and i suppose for me that would be the deciding factor.. I did watch a program on india a few weeks back,... rich british kids living and working soley on the wage they earnt..

Sure i agree, the workers could/should earn a bit more only because tescos is not an indian company and definatly doesnt have to grow..but for a indian company i suppose the rates stated in the origional post would be adaquete...
Ex pats, hmm it seem they have got their math all wrong. Those figures are way off. £28 is not a good montly salary no matter where you live in the world.

Tesco is an easy target because they are well known and massively successful but take the electronics industry. We are all happy to buy a dvd player for less than £20 or an MP3 player for a fiver but I dont see big stories about peasants in Taiwan earning peanuts and how Currys's etc are exploiting them???
Machines in Taiwan get paid by the hour to make these electronics?
 

gooner71

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Ex pats, hmm it seem they have got their math all wrong. Those figures are way off. £28 is not a good montly salary no matter where you live in the world.



Machines in Taiwan get paid by the hour to make these electronics?

Excellent a factory that doesnt have any human input?? So we can all look forward to Skynet and time travelling cyborgs??? It was a simple comparison thats all - and as much as I agree that building a dvd player is far less labour intensive fot the same token Im sure they dont sew all the garments made in India by hand either???
 
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Munkey

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Excellent a factory that doesnt have any human input?? So we can all look forward to Skynet and time travelling cyborgs??? It was a simple comparison thats all - and as much as I agree that building a dvd player is far less labour intensive fot the same token Im sure they dont sew all the garments made in India by hand either???
You've been watching too much Terminator matey.

Clothes are hand made. A human puts the parts of the clothes together, not a machine.

Electronics are not hand made. A machine puts all the parts together, soldering etc, the bulk of the work is done by a machine.

Read up on manufacturing practice, or you could watch a re'run of Terminator :)
 

gooner71

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Did I not just accept in my previous post that electronic goods are less labour intensive to make? Cheap labour though is cheap labour!! Im sure if the person tending the machine in Taiwan was on a western salary the DVD player would still end up costing us more !! Im not disagreeing with you - of course I would rather operate a machine in Taiwan than work in an Indian sweatshop - stands to reason!!
 

Munkey

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#16
Im not disagreeing with you - of course I would rather operate a machine in Taiwan than work in an Indian sweatshop - stands to reason!!
LOL you'd get paid the same in both jobs regardless. I'd opt for India, the food is better :)