By: Gethin Chamberlain
Indian workers are paid just 25p an hour and forced to work overtime in factories used by some of Britain’s best-known high street stores
Gap, Next and Marks & Spencer have all launched their own inquiries into abuses of working regulations at their Indian suppliers, which have resulted in children such as six-year-old Bubli being left alone while her parents work. Photograph: Gethin Chamberlain
Some of the biggest names on the British high street are at the centre of a major sweatshop scandal. An Observer investigation has found staff at their Indian suppliers working up to 16 hours a day.
Marks & Spencer, Gap and Next have all launched their own inquiries into the abuses and pledged to end the practice of excessive overtime, which is in flagrant breach of the industry’s ethical trading initiative (ETI) and Indian labour law.
Some workers say they were paid at half the legal overtime rate. Gap, which uses the same factory as Next, confirmed it had found wage violations and gave its supplier a deadline of midnight last night to repay workers who lost out. M&S says it has yet to see evidence to support the wage claims. Read more