Auditor may be appointed to assess Tesco’s trading ethics

Tesco may have to appoint an auditor to
assess its ethics in trading with suppliers, after a private investor obtained
enough support for the idea to push it on the company’s annual meeting agenda.

Secretary of the campaign group
War on Want, Ben
Birnberg, proposed the idea ahead of Tesco’s annual meeting in June.

He called for the company to ‘take appropriate measures to be independently
audited’ to ensure that workers of supplier factories have ‘decent working
conditions, a living wage, job security, freedom of association and collective
bargaining,’ the Telegraph reported.

Birnberg said his initial proposal had been rejected so he gathered support
from more than 100 others who each had an average of at least 2000 shares, a
requirement of the Companies Act.

‘In fact I’ve got six times that – there has been a real groundswell of
support,’ he said.

Birnberg will deliver documents to Tesco ahead of the deadline on Friday for
items to be included on the agenda of the June 29 annual meeting.

Tesco said: ‘We will give full consideration to any submission he or any
other shareholder might make. Fair treatment of workers in our supply chain is
extremely important to us.’

Further reading:

forces ethics on to Tesco agenda

puts ethics on Tesco agenda

Small suppliers hit by retailers’ ‘shocking’ late payment

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