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22 Jan 2019

Simon Murphy, The Guardian

Major British retailers linked to Bangladesh factory producing Spice Girls T-shirts amidst labour abuses

"Tesco, Mothercare and M&S use factory paying workers 35p an hour", 21 January 2019

Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Mothercare use a factory in Bangladesh that paid the equivalent of 35p an hour to machinists making Spice Girls T-shirts sold to raise money for Comic Relief, it can be revealed.

...Labour’s Mary Creagh said... “There is no reason for any British retailer to tolerate these abuses in the labour supply chain...

M&S confirmed the company has been working with Interstoff for 13 years. A spokesman added: “We will be investigating this incident. We take any allegation against factories we work with extremely seriously and we have already arranged for a compliance manager to visit as soon as possible...

Tesco said it was investigating. Mothercare said it took staff welfare “very seriously”, adding that the retailer “works in close dialogue with all factories” and would be reviewing the information.

A spokesman added: “Mothercare has a code of practice, based on the Ethical Trading Initiative code, which outlines the labour standards expected at all factories, which forms part of our conditions of trade. “Before production is approved, all factories must provide an independent factory ethical audit from a shortlist of providers... Dependent on the findings, the factory is approved for production and a corrective action plan is issued, detailing any areas where the factory needs to improve. Factories found to have issues in the audit are not approved for production. “Mothercare requires that once a factory is approved for production, an independent ethical audit is then renewed on an annual basis to ensure continued adherence with the code.”