ENGLAND, Leicester, July 14 – Leicester has thousands of textile workshops and an outbreak of coronavirus has shone a spotlight on practices in its factories.
Up to 10,000 people are employed in conditions close to slavery in the textile workshops in Leicester, in the center of England, said a local deputy on Monday 13 July.
Interior Minister Priti Patel was moved in Parliament on Monday, denouncing “this modern scourge” and his ministry announced the investigation of these allegations by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
An outbreak of cases of the new coronavirus prompted the authorities at the end of June to extend confinement in this industrial city of the Midlands for at least two weeks and shed spotlight on practices in its factories.
According to conservative MP Andrew Brigden, interviewed by AFP, up to 10,000 people could be employed for a pittance of 2 pounds sterling (about 2.20 euros) an hour.
The Second Wave Of Coronavirus
The victims are “a mixture of locals and immigrant workers, some of whom are believed to be in illegal situations, which is why they are enslaved,” added Brigden.
The garment factories continued to operate during containment and are believed to have played a role in the second wave of contamination.
Labor Behind the Label, a worker’s rights group, said in a report that some factories were operating at full capacity during the crisis when it was “inconceivable” that they could comply with the measures recommended against the virus, such as barrier gestures, even when an employee had tested positive.
“Allegations of abuse have been around in many Leicester companies for years,” said Dominique Muller of Labor Behind the Label. According to a recent parliamentary report, Leicester, a city with high ethnic diversity, has a good thousand textile workshops. Labor Behind The Label accuses brands like Boohoo, a specialist in “Fast Fashion”, of trampling on labor law.