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1 Jul 2020

Archie Bland & Denis Cambell, The Guardian

UK: Labour Behind the Label report alleges Leicester garment factories remained open amidst pandemic, contributing to city’s Covid-19 resurgence

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“Some Leicester factories stayed open and forced staff to come in, report warns”, 30 June 2020

Some garment factories in Leicester stayed open as normal throughout the coronavirus crisis and ordered workers to continue to report for duty even when they were sick, [Behind the Label] has claimed.

… [C]ommunity organisers said that the city’s notorious garment manufacturing sector appeared to have played a key part in the disease’s resurgence.

… [T]estimony compiled by Labour Behind the Label set out what the report’s authors claimed was a “shameful” disregard for worker safety by the factories and the major UK brands operating in Leicester.

One unnamed worker … said he … was told to come in to work … after testing positive. He was told not to tell any other workers …

… [The] report … accused major brands including Boohoo of failing to do enough to monitor conditions at the factories… Boohoo accounted for at least 75% of clothing production in Leicester and called on the company to identify its suppliers so that their practices could be scrutinised.

Boohoo said in a statement that … it was confident that those in its supply chain were operating safely and that it provided free PPE and sanitiser as well as remaining in close contact.