Here we go again...
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 £2.8 billion 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.
From earlier 'research', we established that a typical salary in India is about £900 a year. Fifty-two weeks @ £8.75 = £455, so the salary that these textile workers isn't brilliant or anything, but it's probably enough to pay for life's essentials.
Actually, the article gets better and better ...
... the factory in Bangalore, which is not being named for fear of reprisals from bosses, make clothes on a contract basis for Tesco's hugely successful Florence and Fred range.
I happen to be wearing an Florence & Fred tie, but having checked the label, I can confirm that mine was Made In China, where I am sure that workers are treated much better. Plus they don't have as many mouths to feed. What does "for fear of reprisals from bosses" mean? Are they going to burn down their own factories in protest or something?
War on Want claims as many as four out of five women examined by doctors for the Indian workers' rights organisation Cividep showed evidence of malnutrition. The price of rice in India is said to have risen 20 per cent over the last year.
And Tesco is responsible for the world market price for rice ... how exactly? They've doubled the prices over here to reduce demand, there's not much more they can do, is there?
The Bangalore Garment and Textile Workers' Union has calculated that a living wage should be £52 a month.
Which is £13 a week, which illustrates my point that £8.75 a week ain't as bad as it first sounds.
See also The Daily Mash.
(And if 16p an hour in The Third World is low, don't forget that UK welfare claimants on the National Minimum Wage have a net hourly salary of as little 24p, once you take into account tax, NI and benefits withdrawal.)
Thursday, 26 June 2008
Here we go again...