UK: Manager for ECS & ISS, cleaning contractors for Sainsbury's, jailed for illegally recruiting & employing exploited West African migrant workers; incl. cos. responses
Between 2006 and 2016, undocumented workers from West Africa were reportedly employed as cleaning staff at nine Sainsbury's stores in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, UK. An area manager for two cleaning contractors, ISS Facility Services and Exclusive Contract Services (ECS), had illegally recruited and employed the workers as leader of a criminal gang to exploit them. The workers were housed in properties he owned, sometimes sharing rooms and beds; he also created false identities and bank statements for the workers, resulting in £600,000 profit for the criminal gang he led. He received a six year jail term.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the two cleaning contractors to respond, including to disclose the steps they are taking to investigate and remediate the abuse, and to disclose how they monitor working condition at their companies. Sainsbury's was also invited to respond, disclose the steps they are taking to investigate and remediate the abuse, and to disclose human rights due diligence undertaken prior to contracting ISS and ECS, and when monitoring conditions for subcontracted cleaners.
All three companies provided statements in response; they can be read below. No company provided information to address the questions put to it by the Resource Centre.