According to the British “Guardian” report, British retail company Tesco (TESCO) recently stated that it has received evidence that “forced labor is widespread among migrant women in cotton mills in Tamil Nadu, India” ” case, it uncovered labor abuses in the supply chain of the apparel industry in southern India.
The UK’s largest supermarket chain said one of its supply chains was linked to a spinning mill mentioned in a new report by two NGOs. The report released by the Dutch organization “Semester for the Study of Multinational Corporations” (SOMO) said that multiple evidences of labor abuses were found in the region, including deception, intimidation and threats of vulnerable female workers, poor working and living conditions and excessive overtime.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We take allegations of human rights abuses in our supply chain very seriously…While we are not a direct customer of this factory, we recognize that we are responsible for It is the responsibility of everyone in the supply chain and is working with other brands and with NGOs to investigate and ensure improvements.”
In the report, a worker at one of the factories said: “We can’t get Enough sleep, always working, often in double and sometimes triple shifts. It makes us tired and drowsy. But we are not allowed to rest.” Another worker said: “The best time in my life Most of the time is spent with machines. There is no contact with the outside world.”
The report also said that hundreds of workers have no choice, Living in overcrowded and “unhygienic” dormitories, miles away from their families, without paid time off. Workers said their freedoms were severely restricted and that they were required to stay in dormitories when not working and were closely monitored.
The report also stated that some Indian female workers said they felt unsafe and were sexually harassed in factories and residences. They described inappropriate touching and sexual comments from male managers, supervisors, dormitory staff and co-workers, often under the cover of loud machine noise.
Reports indicate that spinning mills in Tamil Nadu, which provide raw materials for India’s export apparel sector, have long been accused of human rights violations.
The authors of the report believe that the alleged abuses found in the 29 factories investigated may have implications elsewhere in the Tamil Nadu textile industry. Factories also exist. The report named international brands including Next, Sainsbury’s, Gap and IKEA, claiming that these clothing brands were directly or indirectly related to the factories under investigation.
Next said it believed that 6 of the 29 factories mentioned in the report were related to its supply chain and would investigate. It also said it would take joint action with Tesco to try to stop wider labor abuses across the region. IKEA denied any links to the factories mentioned in the report. A spokesman said: “The factories claimed to be linked to IKEA in the report are neither suppliers nor sub-suppliers.” Therefore, IKEA has no authority to enforce its actions. guidelines and has no authority to conduct relevant investigations.
Apparel brand Gap denies that its supply chain is linked to any of the factories highlighted in the report. Gap told the Guardian: “We recognize that the pressing labor and human rights issues in Tamil Nadu’s fabric manufacturing sector are systemic and we will continue to work with industry peers and expert organizations to address these issues. ”
Sainsbury’s said its suppliers were from the region but had no connection to the factories mentioned in the report.
According to “The Hindu” report, Siddhartha Rajagopal, executive director of the Indian Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council (Texprocil), responded that the survey method was “flawed” “, because the sample size is not representative. The report attempts to “generalize from a partial perspective.” He added that the findings were baseless and had the motive to malign the Indian spinning industry and tarnish the image of Indian product suppliers in overseas markets.
K. Selvaraju, secretary-general of the Southern India Factories Association (SIMA), said that this survey does not represent the entire Tamil Spinning Industry in Nadu. The industry has more than 2,000 factories and employs nearly 700,000 workers. Factories within the association are regularly regulated by several government departments. The investigation did not provide details about factories or workers, and there may have been “misguided breaches” at some smaller factories, but this is not representative of the industry. </p