After Leicester became the first city in the United Kingdom to impose a second lock-out on Monday evening, the experts and community organizers have stated that the area was well known clothing manufacturing town seemed to have played a key role in the resurgence of the disease.
And Tuesday, a testimony compiled by Labour Behind the Label has revealed what the authors of the report have called it contempt “shameful” for the safety of the workers by factories and large british brands operating in Leicester.
A worker anonymous quoted in the report said that he had told his employer that he was not well, but he had still been invited to come to work – even after a positive test. He was told not to inform other workers of the result, according to the report. In a factory of 80 employees, a dozen about had Covid-19 at the same time, explained another worker to the authors.
The workers of a number of plants have reported to the group that there were no physical measurements of distance in place and that their employers had closed for a few days, or not at all.
The report came at a time when it appeared that public Health England had found evidence that the young men between 20 and 40 years working in the garment factories of the city and the food processing plants were the major vectors of transmission.
It is understood that the body has become so concerned at the outbreak of the case in Leicester that they have sent a team of officials in the city this weekend to investigate. The analysis of the data collected by local health agencies found that many of the infected people recently were young men aged 20 to 40 years, often of asian origin, many of whom worked in the textile and food.
The garment factories of Leicester are the subject of concern for years. A report by the parliamentary environmental audit last year revealed that the exploitation of wage was flourishing in the city and in the sector as a whole. The deputies to the origin of the report have been heard to say that it was an “open secret” that most of the approximately 1,000 factories and workshops of the city were paying below the minimum wage.
The workers, mostly immigrants, many of whom were of English is limited, are only paid 3 £ for the hour in some cases. The inability to communicate the rules to lock in these communities was also seen as playing a role in the resurgence of the virus in Leicester.
Mick Cheema, whose trademark Basic First has often been presented as a manufacturer of ethical clothing in the city, said he was aware of the “manufacturers that operate with no risk assessment in place for Covid”.
He added: “The social distancing within these places of work is not normal. Some have continued to operate as before the crisis. ”
Priya Thamotheram, head of the community centre in Highfields, which has campaigned for years on the working conditions in the factories, stated that he had no “personal knowledge” of what was happening in the factories because he had not been allowed to enter. “But what I hear of those who pass by these plants, is that the workers come, and that things continue in such conditions “, he told the Guardian.
The report, Labour Behind the Label has also highlighted the “fraud in the workplace”, in particular by requiring workers to hide the payroll so that management can claim more public money and being told to come to work if she wants to be paid.
Dominique Muller, the author of the report, Labour Behind the Label, said that new large orders for garments during the lockout were behind the factories remained open, and has accused the major brands including Boohoo, of not doing enough to monitor the conditions in the factories. The report indicates that Boohoo represents at least 75% of the production of clothing in Leicester, and called on the company to identify its suppliers, so that their practices can be controlled.
“Allegations of abuse in many businesses in Leicester have been reported for years,” said Muller. “Until now, local and central government has not taken any significant extent. Instead, they seemed to focus on the downs of immigration, which has made the workers vulnerable, more afraid to express themselves. ”
Boohoo said in a statement that it had “fundamentally changed the way we operate” since the coronavirus and that “every decision we have taken to heart the safety and well-being of our people”. She said that she was convinced that the members of its supply chain were safe and that it provided free PPE and disinfectant, while remaining in close contact.
Underlining its strict code of conduct, he said: “None of our suppliers has not been affected at this point and we are thrilled that our compliance team internal has been able to resume his work. Our third-party auditors, also visit sites this week. “
In addition to the problems related to the manufacturing conditions, others have suggested that the epidemic has accelerated among workers employed in the processing plants of foods in the city and spread rapidly in part because of overcrowding.
A number of factories in the area of St Saviours Road, which is based a large part of the manufacturing of Leicester and is among the most affected areas of the city, were opened Tuesday. The owners and managers complained not to have received clear indications on how they should operate by the board.
Many of the windows were closed or blocked from the inside, which makes it difficult to see how many workers were inside the building. A director of a textile factory, who declined to give his name, has firmly denied that there had been mistakes during the closing period, “These are false allegations from people who are never there to proclaim the good news of Leicester. Everyone here has been very cautious. “