Anti-Primark demo in support of Indian garment workers

June 23rd, 2008 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 23 (IANS) A British rights group will demonstrate in front of the flagship London branch of low-price fashion retailer Primark for jeopardising jobs of Indian garment workers. War on Want, a rights charity, says Primark’s action of axing its three south Indian suppliers following a television expose that part of the supply deal was sub-contracted to firms using child labour is “precipitous”. It argues that the jobs of hundreds of garment workers in south India are potentially affected by Primark’s action. It describes the move as a “PR job” to divert media attention from the child labour charge.

Simon McRae, a senior campaigner at War on Want, said: “It may be over for Primark’s PR, but it won’t be for those whose livelihoods are under threat.” He argues that the company should have the only responsible reaction to allegations of exploitative labour practices is to engage with the companies involved. Primark’s action shows it is not interested in inter-acting with the suppliers at all, he says.

A spokesperson for Primark told the newspaper: “The BBC came to us with very serious allegations about the conduct of a small number of factories that sell to Primark which we investigated immediately and very thoroughly. What we found left us with no option but to drop those factories - no right-minded person would have done anything different.”

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