Primark fires sub contractors in child labour investigationTuesday, 24 June 2008
Consumers are increasingly demanding that companies produce goods in an ethical manner, turning the spotlight on worker wages and working conditions.
Child labour activist Bhuwan Ribhu said it harmed children "practically every which way"."Socially, morally, psychologically, physically," he said, "we are essentially ruining all our future generation."
Primark in a statement said:"The information provided by the BBC enabled us to identify that illegal sub-contracting had been taking place and to take action accordingly," Primark explained. According to Primark, the garments affected accounted for 0.04% of the retailers' worldwide sourcing.
Primark says it will terminate relations with suppliers guilty of certain "transgressions" and those unwilling to make the "necessary changes" to their employment practices when breaches of its code are uncovered.
Primark has proved one of the UK High Street's unquestioned success stories in recent years, its mixture of low prices and accessible fashion proving a hit with varying age groups. It currently has more than 170 stores and made a £200m profit last year on total sales of more than £1.6bn.
Leading European and US retailers have come under growing pressure to ensure that workers in their supply chain - particularly in labour-intensive markets such as India and China - are not exploited.