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Tesco Partners with Union to Improve U.K. Garment Supply Chain

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British trade union and IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, Community, has made an agreement with retailer Tesco to improve conditions in the U.K. domestic apparel supply chain.

The collaboration stems from the serious concerns about the treatment of workers in the U.K. garment sector. Some of the issues include cases of under payment and non-payment of the minimum wage, excessive working hours, fraudulent declaration of earnings, worker abuse, illegal deductions from earnings and unauthorized sub-contracting.

The agreement will involve Tesco and Community collaborating to end the ongoing abuses in the company’s supply chain. It will undertake tailored multi-stakeholder ethical audits of Tesco’s supply base, provide ethical trade audit experts for the internal and independent audits, and explore opportunities to actively support supplies with health and safety in the workplace.

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, said, “We believe that Tesco are genuinely committed to ethical trade and improving conditions in its UK garment supply chain. That’s why we have developed this groundbreaking agreement that will use the skills and expertise of both our organizations to ensure that happens. The aim is to make the UK garment sector sustainable in the long term and a world-class manufacturing hub once again.”

The arrangement will institute a model for Tesco’s U.K. garment suppliers to benchmark standards and cooperation between the retailer and Community.

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