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11 Sep 2019

Dominic Powell, The Sydney Morning Herald

Australia: Shareholders urge Coles to change its policies covering potential modern slavery in its supply chains

"Coles under pressure over potential worker exploitation in supply chains", 11 September 2019

Supermarket giant Coles is under pressure from activist shareholders to change its policies covering potential modern slavery in its supply chains.

...The resolution has been proposed by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) and is co-filed with industry super fund LUCRF Super, US-based asset manager Mercy Investment Services and Catholic society St Columban's Mission.

...The ACCR argues Coles has an "over-reliance" on third-party audits...to be ineffective in identifying labour violations.

Instead, the organisation is pushing for worker rights and a union voice to be added to the Ethical Sourcing Policy....

It is also asking for supplier accreditation and compliance to be determined by multiple parties rather than just third-party auditors.

In a statement to the market after close of trading on Wednesday, Coles acknowledged it had received the resolution and said the board would post its voting recommendation to shareholders later this month.

[Woolworths is also mentioned in the report]