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Ethical Consumer / Migrants in supermarket supply chains face “horrific” conditions

Ethical Consumer / Migrants in supermarket supply chains face “horrific” conditions

Fruit and veg­etable farms in Spain are rou­tine­ly break­ing eight out of nine basic work­ers’ rights. Abus­es include refusal of legal wages, forced labour, sex­u­al assault and intimidation.

An Eth­i­cal Con­sumer report is call­ing on UK super­mar­kets to take imme­di­ate steps to pro­tect the rights of migrant agri­cul­tur­al work­ers in Spain. Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Mor­risons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Wait­rose are named in the report.

Farm man­agers in south­ern Spain have demand­ed sex in return for employ­ment, con­fis­cat­ed pass­ports so work­ers can’t ‘escape’, fired work­ers for try­ing to unionise or join strikes and penalised work­ers for going to the toilet.

Work­ers’ rights organ­i­sa­tions includ­ing Anti-Slav­ery Inter­na­tion­al, the Coali­tion of Immokalee Work­ers, Leigh Day solic­i­tors and Land­work­ers’ Alliance have endorsed the report’s find­ings and call upon UK super­mar­kets to imple­ment its recommendations.

UN spe­cial rap­por­teur on extreme pover­ty and human rights, Olivi­er de Schut­ter, states “For years, author­i­ties and employ­ers in south­ern Spain have been con­tent to sit back and watch as migrant work­ers endure the most hor­rif­ic, inhu­mane work­ing con­di­tions”. He continues:

“I urge super­mar­kets to end their com­plic­i­ty in this abuse and address the issue head-on, using this report as their guide.”

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