Post Author Will Rhodes
Personally I find this sickening in this day and age!
What I ask is who is to blame? No seriously.
Do you blame the company who buys their product? Do you blame the person who is employing illegal immigrants – paying people cash in hand so he doesn’t have to pay national insurance contributions and tax?
A bit of both?
Thankfully the BBC have done a program that I think they should do more of:
Factory workers making clothes destined for fashion chain Primark work up to 12 hours a day for £3.50 an hour, an undercover BBC investigation has found.
You can guarantee that some are going to be well pissed over this – but to me it is what the tax payer should be seeing.
The Tory party in the UK want to lower the minimum wage, and I would suppose deregulate hours worked so is this place what we will see if they get their way? It is almost inhuman!
TNS Knitwear Ltd, based in a former Victorian mill in Manchester, supplies clothing to several high street fashion chains.
It is one of Primark’s biggest UK suppliers of knitwear, handling hundreds of thousands of garments for the company a year.
A BBC reporter, who is a non-UK national, applied for a job with the company and was not asked about her right to work.
Victorian mill – and Victorian working conditions by the look.
Many in her section were putting in 12-hour days, seven days a week, for just over half the minimum wage.
By law, workers should be paid £5.73 an hour and Primark’s own code of conduct promises workers a living wage.
But Zahid Sarwar, the co-owner of TNS Knitwear, is filmed on a secret camera telling our reporter she would get £3.50 an hour.
Our reporter also found there was no heating in that area, and staff worked in their coats in bitterly cold temperatures.
An unrepaired toilet meant workers of both sexes were sharing one set of toilets.
One Afghan man, working alongside our reporter, said he was an asylum seeker and had been working illegally in the country for three years.
Now, again, I ask – who is to blame?
While I know that this store chain does sell really cheap clothing that is not too bad in quality for the price – is it right that they allow a company like TNS to treat their workers in such a way – illegal or not, under the minimum wage or not?
You will find that some obscure government minister will say how disgusted they are with this – if it ever gets to their eyes. Yet – as will all things government they will still insist that this is a one off and there are not a lot of companies like this in the UK. That while sniggering behind their hand.
Who do I blame? Well I think it is a bit obvious – I blame those who are in power, have the duty to see that this doesn’t happen. There are laws in the UK where this should not happen, but with a weak government that is you find they are more concerned with keeping their eyes firmly on the next election rather than doing what they should be doing.
TNS Knitwear must file some sort of taxes, VAT records – records of employment etc. How is it that no one picked up on that – they must have been making some form of profit. Yet this is ignored – much like a lot of businesses that get away without paying tax – but you can always blame those who live on council estates – they generally don’t need under cover reporters to go onto the estate to see what is wrong.