Shanty town where armed guards stalk
THE DIRD Composite Textiles factory is on a busy street in Gazipur, Bangladesh, but the tall, ominous building is behind large gates manned by guards.
The MoS approached workers taking their lunchbreak a short distance down the road from the factory, which makes Tesco F&F school jumpers which sell for £5 in the UK. Soon, senior staff demanded we stop speaking to employees.
Many workers live in a shanty town nearby, with chickens roaming the muddy wasteland. Within five minutes of our reporters’ arrival in the living quarters, two security guards carrying batons arrived.
Shamim, 30, earns £64.47 a month (34p an hour) as a machine operator. He said it is hard to provide for his wife and son, 12. ‘My son stays at my home village. I miss him a lot. If I earned more, he would stay close to me,’ he said. Tesco said: ‘We continue to work with our suppliers to improve wages and would take firm action against any abuse or underpayment.’
DIRD said: ‘We refute your implication that the workforce are mistreated. We provide higher salary than most of the factories.’ The company said employees’ children were offered music lessons and daycare.
LOW WAGE: A DIRD factory worker holds up a £5 Tesco school jumper