Unite the Union

Unite the Union

February 27, 2008 05:49 ET

Unite Launches Virtual and Actual Campaign to Demand That M&S 'Practices What It Preaches'

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Feb. 27, 2008) -

Attention: news, industrial and retail and news media correspondents

Unite the union have placed an ad on Google (Wednesday 27th February) calling on viewers to 'Look Behind The Label' and check the reality for workers producing M&S meat and poultry.

Searches for Marks and Spencers using the Google search engine can reveal the advert from Unite the union.

The ad will direct those using the Google search engine to the union's campaign page detailing widespread discrimination in the treatment of workers in the UK meat supply chain.

Unite, Britain's biggest union will today launch an international online advertising campaign and begin waves of demonstrations outside Marks and Spencers outlets across the UK to demand that the group operates an ethical supply chain. (see notes to editors for the details of the demonstrations).

The union will also send out e-mails using a database of over 100,000 addresses in the UK and thousands around the world. The e-mail message details the issues workers in M&S' supply chain face and asks that the recipients send a message to M&S corporate management using a link provided.

Whilst M&S claims to be one of the leading ethical supermarkets, Unite has evidence that there is widespread discrimination in the treatment of workers in the meat supply chain. A permanent two-tier workforce amongst many suppliers has been created, starting conflict between migrant and indigenous workers and helping cause community disharmony.

Unite the union, gave its evidence to M&S and the other major retailers more than a year ago. Despite talks and independent research which backed the workers' claims, M&S has failed to take effective action and insist that the meat supply industry stops exploiting its workforce. Unite believes supermarkets should face up to their responsibilities to workers and communities. M&S should put its warm words into action, and start putting people first.

Unite Joint General Secretary, Tony Woodley says,

"We are using virtual reality to highlight the actual reality for workers producing M&S meat and poultry.

Today Unite is launching an international online advertising campaign and will begin waves of demonstrations outside Marks and Spencers outlets across the UK, to demand that Marks & Spencers operates an ethical supply chain.

Marks and Spencers' drive to keep costs down within its supply chain has created a permanent two-tier workforce where mainly migrant agency workers are on even lower conditions than directly employed workers.

M&S must show respect for workers in its supply chain and insist that the meat supply industry ends exploitation and discrimination.

This is a clear message to this world famous retailer that its time M&S "practices what it preaches."

Notes to editors

Keywords for the Google search include; M&S, Marks and Spencer, Marks and Spencers, Marks and M&S Foods.

The Wave of demonstrations outside Marks and Spencers across the begin today and continue through to the end of March. Demonstrations between 11.00 am and 1.00pm.

Today's (27th February) hits include.

The media will be able to meet and interview workers from M&S' supply chain outside M&S in Eastbourne, Langley Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex.



London 46 High Road, London, London, N22 6BX
Eastbourne Langley Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex
Bristol 78 Broadmead, Bristol, Avon, BS1 3DS
Belfast 48 Donegall Place, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT1 5BY
Cardiff 72 Queen Street, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10 2XG
Birmingham 42 High Street Birmingham, West Midlands
Manchester 7 Market Street, Manchester M1 1WT
Glasgow 172 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Strathclyde, G2 3EA
Leeds 47 Briggate, Leeds LS1 6HF


Contact Information

  • Ciaran Naidoo
    07768 931 315