Lidl has launched an internal investigation following claims made by BBC’s Panorama that one of its Bangladesh suppliers abuses workers.
A Panorama - Dying for a Bargain documentary, which will air on BBC1 tonight (23 September), features undercover work at the Ha Meem Sportswear factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which reportedly produces jeans and dungarees for Lidl.
In the programme, BBC reporter Richard Bilton claims workers were locked inside the factory working 20-hour days for £2.
“This place had a fire a few weeks ago and they’re commonplace in the industry so if anything goes wrong tonight, the workers are trapped and locked inside,” said Bilton.
Several UK retailers recently pledged their commitment to ethical garment sourcing in the country following a factory collapse in Dhaka, which killed at least 430 people and injured 2,500, in May this year.
Worker pay remains a controversial subject in Bangladesh. More than 100 Bangladeshi garment factories, many suppliers to UK retailers, were forced to shut today as thousands of the nation’s workers took to the streets to protest for a $100 a month minimum wage. A $20 pay rise by the Bangladeshi government was recently rejected by worker unions, with workers currently earning around $38 a month.
A Lidl spokeswoman told The Grocer: “The investigation into this has begun. We are aware of the claims that have been made but, until we see the programme and have all the details, we are unable to comment any further.”