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Retail giants shamed by UK sweatshops

Author: Martin Hickman, Independent [UK], Published on: 8 November 2010

...[A] reporter for Channel 4’s Dispatches worked undercover in workshops in Leicester...[He] found: "dangerous, pressurised sweatshop conditions”; pay at half the legal minimum wage; workers exhorted to work faster under threat of the sack; cramped and over-heated conditions with unsanitary toilets and at least one blocked fire exit. Workers’ identity and legality was also not checked...The factories were making clothes for...: Bhs, owned by...Arcadia group, New Look, Peacocks, C&A and Jane Norman...Arcadia said...a supplier sub-contracting out the work had “clearly breached” its code of conduct...Philip Chamberlain, [C&A's] head of sustainable business, said: "we have decided to suspend our business relation with the respective manufacturing supplier"...A spokesman for Jane Norman said...it had "come as a complete surprise…to find out that one of our suppliers engaged a factory that was apparently acting illegally"...After carrying out its own investigation, [New Look] met with its UK suppliers...Peacocks is also launching its own investigation...[also refers to Primark (part of Associated British Foods)]

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Related companies: Arcadia Group Associated British Foods BHS C&A Jane Norman (part of Edinburgh Woollen Mill) New Look Peacocks (part of EWM Group) Primark (part of Associated British Foods)