By John Otters
Together with SumOfUs, Fairfood has set up a petition to ask Lidl to start paying living wages to shrimp workers in Thailand. You can sign the SumOfUs petition here.
Fairfood recently published a report which reveals that Lidl is linked to abusive labour conditions in shrimp processing plants in Thailand, where many migrant workers from Burma are exploited and earn next to nothing.
Burmese shrimp workers are caught in a trap. They paid high amounts to find a workplace in Thailand. They end up earning 8 Euro a day, while their costs of living are 12 Euro a day. Their poor wages are further diminished by numerous, unclear deductions from workers’ pay checks for things like work equipment and debt repayments for work permit fees, visa costs or debts to brokers. As a consequence Burmese shrimp workers must rely on overtime to be able to survive; and work back-breaking weeks in excess of 60 hours.
Lidl is the fifth largest retailer in the world and turned over €48Bn in sales in 2013. They have made a huge profit, while the people they rely on to produce the goods that they sell break their backs for low wages, working long hours, with very little job security.
It is unacceptable that poverty wages and the exploitation of a poor and vulnerable workforce are used to generate a huge trade in Europe.
Despite the fact that Lidl’s Code of Conduct indicates that the company aims to pay wages that cover the cost of living in its supply chains, Lidl has not yet responded to these alarming abuses that have been pointed out to them by Fairfood numerous times.
At the public action on April 8, Lidl responded to Fairfood that it is complicated to ensure that all workers in their supply chains are paid a Living Wage. However, it seems that instead of taking steps to address Living Wage, Lidl is choosing not to act at all. And in fact, living on these poverty wages is much more complicated. Lidl needs to take the first step and pay a Living Wage to the shrimp workers in Thailand. Therefore, join us in asking Lidl to start paying Living Wages.
Why Fairfood fights for a Living Wage
The living wage is a human right as enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Fairfood believes that a Living Wage is one of the most pressing issues in our fight against poverty and hunger.
Why SumOfUs fights for a Living Wage
SumOfUs believes that it is important that workers have the right to be treated fairly and that every human being has the right to make a living, safely and ethically, for themselves and their family; furthermore consumers have a right to products that are produced and marketed ethically, sustainably and transparently
Do you want to eat food that is produced without the use of exploitative labour practices?
Join Fairfood and SumOfUs and demand Lidl to stop paying lip service and start paying Living Wages to everyone that produces and peels our food, starting with their tropical shrimp supply chains. Sign the petition on our website or on SumOfUs.