As many of you will be aware one of our biggest supermarkets if not our biggest in the UK Tesco dominate the high street in many towns and cities. We now have a case where we get what are called "tesco towns" where the influenceand the role a Tesco has is unrivaled in a town.
I found this set of facts about Tesco from the excellent Tescopoly website which you can check out here http://www.tescopoly.org.uk/ 1) 1 in every 7 pounds spent in the UK in 2007 was spent in Tesco
2) Tesco use their monopoly power to squeeze farmers hard. A Competition Commission investigation revealed that Tesco consistently pay suppliers nearly 4% below the average price paid by other retailers. There isn’t much evidence they pass these savings to consumers – they just pocket the profits.
3) Research by ActionAid found workers in Costa Rica producing bananas for export to all major UK supermarkets earning 33p an hour. This wage is so low that they cannot afford to take an hour off when dangerous pesticides are being sprayed on the crops.
4) Unite the Union have a long running campaign against Tesco over the terrible treatment of workers in their meat supply chain.
5) The New Economics Foundation have shown that fresh fruit and veg is, on average, 30% cheaper at a street market than it is in a supermarket. However, through short term aggressive pricing when they first move into an area, Tesco often shuts down these markets, reducing access to fresh fruit and veg for the poorest.
6) Tesco offer their best deals in out of town shopping centres rather than their city centre stores. This not only encourages driving, but also excludes those without cars – mostly, poorer people.
7) In the 5 years to 2002, an average of 50 local food shops were lost in the UK every week, largely due to the Tesco takeover.
8 ) Tesco is Europe’s biggest property company. In 2007 they were sitting on property assets worth £28bn.
9) Tesco are not a net creator of jobs. Because they aggressively force local shops out of business, and then provide the minimal possible service to customers, on average, every time a large supermarket opens, 276 jobs are lost.
10) Between 2003 and 2007 the Labour Party accepted donations of £54,194 from Tesco.
Unions have raised serious concerns about conditions for workers employed along supermarket supply chains in the UK. Pay and working conditions can be negatively affected as supermarkets squeeze suppliers for goods at lower prices or relocate in search of cheaper products. The major food retailers can exert undue pressure on suppliers causing job losses in food processing companies that simply cannot produce goods at the prices Tesco and their competitors wish to pay.
Unite has been campaigning in Supermarket supply chains such as the Red and White Meat Sectors since December 2007. This began by publicising the harsh conditions many workers in the UK experience when employed by companies supplying meat to some of the major Supermarkets. Unite then undertook a campaign against Tesco’s abuse of power over the Meat supply chains through the ‘Tesco: Every Workers Counts’ campaign. Unite works towards its ultimate goal of ensuring the highest ethical standards in the treatment of customers and to insist upon the highest ethical standards for workers employed by companies throughout the supply chain. For more
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) meat sector inquiry
In March 2010 the EHRC released its findings from its "Inquiry into recruitment and employment in the meat and poultry processing sector". The report reveals evidence of the widespread mistreatment and exploitation of migrant and agency workers in the sector, and makes recommendations including supermarkets improving their auditing of suppliers; processing firms and agencies improving recruitment practices, working environments and the ability of workers to raise issues of concern; and for…