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UK: Gap, Next and Marks & Spencer respond to Indian worker abuses

Date: 9 Aug 2010

Major retailers Gap, Next and Marks & Spencer have responded to evidence of working rights abuses at factories in India. Workers have been forced to carry out excessive overtime with pay that is below the legal minimum wage, according to the Observer newspaper.

The companies have reviewed the factory practices, and confirmed that they have found various violations of their codes of conduct. The supplier concerned has been given a deadline to correct the problems.

The chairman of the Indian company involved has apologised for the situation and promised to make amends. One of the practices was reportedly that of sacking staff who refuse to work extra hours - a practice which is illegal world-wide.

The retailers all use a process of auditing of suppliers to check for violations, and told the Observer's investigators that they had taken swift action to address issues when they were found.

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