29 March 2007
A Marks & Spencer's (M&S) supplier has denied claims of unfair dismissal, low pay and poor working conditions in one of its Moroccan factories.
A trade union in the country claims 486 workers, mostly women, were sacked after staging a protest over conditions in Dewhirst's ladieswear factory.
Workers have been demonstrating since their alleged sacking in December and some are threatening legal action. Dewhirst denies the allegations.
It said the "vast majority of personnel who withdrew their labour have effectively resigned" because it has not heard from them despite verbal and written invitations to return to work or discuss the matter.
Anthony Wood, managing director for ladieswear at Dewhirst, said the protests had affected production and other workers were being paid overtime to meet demand.
The M&S ethical trade team maintains regular contact with the supplier. The company added: "We would not work with a supplier if we considered any serious labour standard issues were found in a factory."