UK: Channel 4's Dispatches alleges "dangerous, sweatshop conditions" in workshops supplying clothes to major retailers

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Article
8 November 2010

Fashion's Dirty Secret

Author: Channel 4 [UK]

A Dispatches investigation into the working conditions in clothing manufacturing units in the UK. Undercover filming reveals poor treatment of workers making clothes which end up being sold by large fashion retailers.

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Article
8 November 2010

Retail giants shamed by UK sweatshops

Author: Martin Hickman, Independent [UK]

...[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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