Tesco Hates Fair Pay (as if you didn’t know)

July 14, 2009

Just in case you missed it earlier this month:

Tesco management has faced off a demand that it do more to guarantee fair wages for staff working for its suppliers…At today’s AGM, shareholders voted down a resolution demanding the group update its practices to ensure agency workers in the meat processing industry get a better deal.

…Trade union Unite and the West Yorkshire Pension fund jointly filed a resolution saying Tesco needs to take its promise on good business practice more seriously. They say the group must make sure it has practices in place to ensure foreign workers employed at its UK meat supply chains are treated equally and get the same pay.

The resolution called for Tesco to allocate a non-executive board member to its Corporate Responsibility Committee; commit to annual reporting publicly on performance and progress on relevant Tesco policies; and implement a manageable model for demonstrating progress. In the end the move was voted down with a majority of 89% voting against the motion.

At the same time, shareholders in the retail giant failed to agree to limit executive pay, actually extending the time that departing executives will have to exercise their stock options.

And, yes, Tesco did make £3 billion in profits last year, the biggest ever by a British retailer. And, yes, that was largely to do with squeezing producers of its cut-price products, and not to do with its brilliantly innovative execs. Brutal more like.

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