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UK: Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit goes undercover to reveal scale of modern slavery

Includes allegations of workers living in squalid containers at a carwash in Kent that say they are paid well below the minimum wage, suffer verbal and physical abuse, and have wages withheld for causing minor damage.  Volvo and Kia dealerships reportedly use the carwash and the article includes comments from these companies.

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Article
26 April 2016

Britain's modern slave trade

Author: Al Jazeera

Secret filming by Al Jazeera uncovered shocking conditions at a carwash in Kent, southeast England, used by dealerships for the auto giants, Volvo and Kia. Workers living in squalid containers at the carwash in Canterbury say they are paid $50 for 12-hour shifts, suffer verbal and physical abuse, and have wages withheld for causing minor damage...A new law introduced this month requires big firms to publicly and prominently report what they are doing to ensure there is no slavery in their operations and supply chains. But our research found that 85 percent of the FTSE 100 and other leading companies do not address the Modern Slavery Act prominently...A spokesman for Volvo said its code of conduct stated that its employees and franchises must comply with the law. The Lipscomb dealership said it complied with Volvo’s code of conduct. Earlier, a manager there had told the undercover reporter that "if there had been any problem [with the carwash], we would not have used them". Kia Motors UK said it expected all its dealers to obey the law and Kia Harbour Garage said it was "shocked and concerned" by our allegations and had launched an investigation.

 

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Item
26 April 2016

Britain's Modern Slave Trade - Al Jazeera Investigates

Author: Al Jazeera