Oxfam piles up a report based on interviews with workers at food manufacturing sites in the UK and leather footwear factories supplying to M&S in India.
They learned that workers working under inadequate conditions were afraid to speak up for a change and hardly expect anything better than the present.
The report reflects a huge contrast between the data M&S managers receive about their workplace conditions and the actual reality. The head of sustainable business at M&S, Carmel McQuaid says that according to them they have set the baseline standards for the workers working for them but in order to gain the clarity behind the curtain they took help from Oxfam to conduct a close survey of these workers. He adds reports provided by the companies is a mere formality and is very different from what's coming from the workers' mouths itself.
As a result, they have taken needful actions to strengthen & expand “workers' voice programs” and add value to their industry experience.
Rachel Wilshaw, worker's rights senior manager for Oxfam says Oxfam, through this project, got an exposure to the real life problems of workers involved in M&S supply chain. Workers even shared some serious concerns which they did not even share with the reporting channels due to lack of trust. M&S's approach to Oxfam to conduct the survey shows it's willingness to know the challenges and adversities faced by its workers and work towards it's improvement.
He also says we need other companies to take such initiatives and efforts for their worker's community along with the government support to bring out an effective and positive change in the sector and make their lives easier.
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