Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Tesco u-turn on slave wages, no thanks to Lambeth Labour Party

It is being reported this morning that Tesco has made a u-turn on its 'slave labour' policy.

As the campaign against Tesco's poor treatment of workers increased around the country last week I raised this issue with both Tesco and Lambeth Council last week with regard to the upcoming hub development in Streatham.

I received no response from Future Streatham. However leader of Lambeth Council Steve Reed told me that rather than getting assurances from Tesco they were going to rely on the Conservative/Lib Dem Government to safeguard the rights of workers. This is particularly alarming given the latest suggestions that the Prime Minister is even considering freezing the minimum wage.

Streatham MP Chuka Umunna didn't directly welcome the u-turn by Tesco this morning, but did retweet another Labour MP who did. His new role as Shadow Business Secretary left him ideally placed to speak out on the issue. However he has remained silent. He was even at the London Stock Exchange this week, and so could have easily made it a big issue (to give credit where it is sue he knows how to catch the attention of the media when he wants to).

This all continues to speak volumes about Lambeth Labour Party's reluctance to speak up and advocate for the most vulnerable in the borough.

I'll be going along tonight to the hub development meeting at the Streatham Hideaway to continue to press for assurances from Tesco about the treatment of workers. It was the Greens who got Lambeth Council to adopt a Living Wage for Council employees. It seems it is only the Green Party in Lambeth wants to challenge big business about their treatment of local workers.

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