It’s time to deliver fairness for workers employed in companies
that supply meat to Tesco
5th February 2009
PHOTO CALL: Demonstrations outside Tesco
stores taking place across the UK including Northern Ireland (see
notes to editors)
Date: Thursday, 5th March 2009
Time: 11.00am - 1.00pm
Unite, Britain's biggest union, will continue its national
demonstrations outside Tesco stores today (Thursday, 5th March).
The union is warning Tesco not to use the credit crunch as an
excuse not to act to deliver fairness for workers employed in
companies that supply meat to Tesco
Demonstrators will leaflet customers outside nine Tesco stores
across the country (London, Surrey, Bristol, Belfast, Clwyd,
Northamptonshire, Manchester, Glasgow and Leeds). The demonstrators
will hand out leaflets to alert customers to working conditions for
workers employed by companies that supply meat to Tesco.
The union has presented Tesco with evidence that workers in its
UK supply chain are experiencing harsh and divisive conditions that
in some cases are abusive. Unite believes that structural
discrimination exists in many parts of the supply chain that
provides meat to Tesco.
As an indication of the seriousness of Unite's claims, the
powerful Equality and Human Rights Commission has announced that it
is to examine the UK's multi-billion pound meat industry in England
and Wales for evidence of employment abuse and discrimination.
The launch is part of an ongoing campaign by Unite to improve
the treatment of workers, including agency workers, in the UK
supermarket supply chain. Unite is concerned that agency workers
are often on poorer conditions of employment than core workers,
which employers can use to undercut directly-employed workers
leading to division in the workplace and damaging social
For further information please contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768
Notes to editors:
- Tesco Demonstrations (5th March)
- London: 361 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AN
- Surrey: Reigate Road, Horley, Surrey RH60 OAT
- Bristol: Tesco Broadmead 90 - 98 Broadmead Bristol BS1
- Belfast: Royal Avenue, Belfast
- Clywd: Mold, Ponterwyl, Mold, Clwyd CH7 1UB
- Kettering: Carina Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN15
- Manchester: Tesco Express, Quay St Manchester, M3 3BB
- Strathclyde: 229 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, Strathclyde G11
- Leeds: Leeds Bond Street, West Riding House, Leeds LS1 5BQ
The Equality and Human Rights Commission, established in 2007,
is to use its powers to undertake its first ever Inquiry into a key
sector of the economy. The Inquiry will consider the two-tier
employment practices within the meat supply chain, a significant
industry employing some 40,000 workers across Britain engaged in
processing and packing meat for sale in supermarkets and retailers
across the British Isles.
The commission will be examining the relationship between
employment and supply chain practices with forced down terms and
conditions and abuse of workers within the sector. In particular,
the commission will be examining the differentials in treatment
between agency and permanent workers, UK and migrant workers, and
the knock-on effect of this for community relations.
Ethical Model Factories would be based on the belief that all
workers undertaking the same work, who are equally qualified,
should be treated equally from the commencement of employment,
including being paid equally, regardless of employment status.
Unite is also committed to ensuring agency workers have a route
to permanent employment following 13 weeks of continuous work.
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