24 May 2007 | Paul Snell
A major banana supplier is today beginning an investigation into the treatment of its UK-based workers.
Supplier SH Pratt and its recruitment firm, Response Personnel, told supplymanagement.com they would conduct a thorough investigation into claims made to the BBC by workers at their Luton plant.
Staff told the BBC's Today programme yesterday ( www.bbc.co.uk
) that they were refused breaks and denied permission to go to the toilet.
SH Pratt told supplymanagement.com: "The welfare and safety of workers is of paramount importance to SH Pratt and Response Personnel and we take the allegations raised by the Today programme very seriously.
"We are in the process of undertaking a thorough and detailed investigation regarding working conditions at the SH Pratt plant in Luton. Following our investigations, should we identify occasions where guidelines on the treatment of workers were not followed, we will take immediate action to ensure this doesn't happen again."
SH Pratt is also inviting business customers to visit its operations and talk to the workers themselves.
In addition, the companies said they would begin a retraining programme for supervisors immediately and ensure all workers were aware of employment guidelines.