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12 Nov 2019

Dominic Powell, The Age

Australia: Shareholder group 'unconvinced' by Coles' union alliance Accord to address modern slavery in supply chain

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"Coles strikes deal with unions to quell worker exploitation concerns", 5 November 2019

Coles has sought to quell concerns about modern slavery within the supermarket's supply chains via a new partnership with some of Australia's largest unions, but shareholder groups remain unconvinced...

...activist shareholder group the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR)...rubbished Coles' agreement, saying it does not initially appear to address its concerns and asked the supermarket for more detail on the nature of the accord.

The ACCR says at first glance the agreement fails to address the company's reliance on third-party audits and doesn't cover the "immediate and urgent" risk of illegal workers across Coles' suppliers.

"The information provided in the release indicates that the accord does not appear to meet the threshold for worker-driven social responsibility. Significantly, it does not indicate whether it will involve substantial changes to its supplier certification procedures," the group said.