Friday, 29 June 2007

Tesco accused of exploiting workers in South Africa

Famous actress Emma Thompson has accused Tesco of subjecting some of their workers in South Africa to appalling pay and conditions. Ms Thompson, who is an ambassador for the charity ActionAid said “I have visited these farms and I was shocked by what I saw” after her tour of farms in the Western Cape area of South Africa. Thompson claimed that 80 women worked from 7am to 6pm for the equivalent of just 38p.

Tesco’s media director, Jonathan Church denied her claims, and said “We have looked at the farm conditions and pay, gone over the allegations made and not found any evidence to suggest there is a problem”. I’m sure the media director sat in his plush offices in the UK really knows more about the situation on South African farms than Emma Thompson who has actually been there and seen the situation for herself.

It is about time corporations took responsibility for their suppliers’ actions and set up a validation process that involves independent assessment of working conditions around the world. Being ethical needs to be more than a marketing strategy, it needs to be a moral code that corporations follow.

[Via The Telegraph]

No comments: