The GMB trade union yesterday called for tougher enforcement of the National Minimum Wage in the wake of allegations that a Primark supplier in Manchester has been exploiting immigrant labour.
It has been alleged that TNS Knitwear, which supplies 20,000 garments to fashion chain Primark each week, paid illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and India £3 an hour for working 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
Similar allegations have been made against a TNS subcontractor Fashion Waves.
A GMB spokesman told News Line: ‘The GMB has been consistently pressing for more resources to be put into the enforcement of the National Minimum Wage and other employment laws.
‘In particular, we have asked for the Gangmaster Licencing Authority remit to be extended to industries linked with construction and logistics.’
TNS Knitwear has denied the allegations and Primark has launched an investigation into the allegations that TNS breached employment and immigration laws.
Such breaches could lead to fines of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker and prosecution for tax evasion and employment law abuses.
A ‘concerned’ Primark spokesman said: ‘Primark is conducting its own investigation. Once that investigation is completed, it will decide how to proceed.
‘Meanwhile, Primark has handed all relevant information passed to the company over to the relevant enforcement agencies so they may take action.’