Models stage protest over conditions at Primark supplier

5 April 2009

06 April 2009 | Jake Kanter

Conditions at a Primark supplier again came under the spotlight this weekend during a protest in London.

Models dressed in chains paraded along a catwalk outside the clothing retailer's flagship store in Oxford Street on Saturday for a rally organised by workers' rights organisations No Sweat and War on Want.

The groups called for better working conditions and wages for employees at a Primark supplier in Bangladesh.

An investigation by War on Want last year found workers in a Bangladeshi factory were paid as little as 7p an hour for an 80-hour week (Web news, 8 December 2008).

"Primark's flagship store is thriving, selling clothes at rock bottom prices while the workers producing them face deeper poverty," said War on Want spokesman Paul Collins.

"Gordon Brown's claim that the G20 summit deal will tackle global poverty ignores the reality that UK companies such as Primark are trapping people overseas in dire hardship."

A Primark spokesperson said in a statement: "We acknowledge that conditions for workers in some factories do not always meet the high standards that we and other brands sourcing from these factories, expect."

The retailer has formed a partnership in Bangladesh with labour organisation NUK to improve working conditions at vendors, and also appointed an ethical trade manager in the country.

Last month Primark increased its commitment to ethical trade by signing a deal for a web-based supply chain auditing system (Web news, 3 March).

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