Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tesco 2008 AGM: Charges of Tesco's Exploiting Workers at Indian Factory Heat Up On the Eve of Corporate Annual General Meeting

From the Fresh & Easy Buzz Editor's Desk: United Kingdom-based Tesco PLC's Annual General Meeting (AGM) is tomorrow, Friday, June 27. Tesco owns Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market in the USA.

As we wrote about in this piece on June 22, "Vocal Cast of Critics and Advocacy Groups to Attend Tesco's Annual General Meeting On Friday, June 27," numerous critics of Tesco PLC's corporate policies, as well as a variety of advocacy groups, are preparing to make their voices heard both inside and outside this year's AGM, which is being held at the United Kingdom's Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham this year.

In our piece titled and linked above (or click here to read it), we reported one of the advocacy groups attending the Tesco AGM will be the non-profit organization War on Want, which says it will have a representative from one of Tesco's factories in India at the annual meeting tomorrow to deliver what it claims is a less than positive report about worker conditions at that factory.

Today, Britain's Evening Standard newspaper is reporting on an investigation that claims Tesco PLC, the United Kingdom's largest and the world's third-largest retailer, is exploiting workers at the Indian factory mentioned above.

Below is the headline and opening paragraphs of the report in today's Evening Standard:

Tesco accused of using 'slave labour'
Robert Mendick and Jonathan Prynn, Evening Standard
26 June 2008

Tesco is accused today of exploiting workers who are paid an average 16p an hour.

A damaging investigation alleges that Britain's biggest retailer - which made a £2.8bn profit last year - is being supplied by an Indian factory where textile workers earn, on average, £8.75 for a 54-hour, six-day week. The lowest paid receive less than £7 a week.

A researcher flown in from India will present the figures at the retail giant's annual shareholders' meeting tomorrow in an attempt to maximise Tesco's embarrassment.

Click here to read the entire Evening Standard story. You also can read the press release distributed today by the non-profit anti-poverty group War on Want here.

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