News

'Parties hide behind poverty aid'

16 April 2010 - 3:31pm

The charity War on Want is urging British voters not to let political parties hide potentially damaging policies behind their aid commitments in this Sunday's debate on global poverty.

Darling slated over refusal to impose banks tax

24 March 2010 - 2:03pm

The charity War on Want today denounced UK chancellor Alistair Darling for his failure to introduce a tax on banks' financial transactions in the government's last budget before the general election.

‘Tax banks to save public services'

22 March 2010 - 12:49pm

British chancellor Alistair Darling today faces pressure to impose a tax on banks' currency transactions to stave off cuts in public services and to raise money for overseas development.

Show comics will have you in stitches

23 February 2010 - 3:30pm

Stars raise funds for sweatshops, poverty campaigns

A galaxy of leading comedians next week aims to have their audience in stitches with a show to help fight for global justice, including workers on poverty wages making clothes for British stores.

Three of the magazine Time Out's readers' top 10 comedians will raise laughs and cash in the show for the charity War on Want at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in London on 4 March.

Proceeds from the event will boost War on Want campaigns, such as Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops, the biggest-ever call for British government action to stop UK retailers abusing overseas garment workers.

Other campaigns to benefit from the show will include the charity's drives against tax dodging, trade injustice, private armies, unemployment amid the world financial crisis and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Stewart Lee, second in the Time Out list and writer and director behind the award-winning comic musical Jerry Springer: The Opera, tops the charity's bill.

Also booked for the event is Janey Godley, rated third best among Time Out readers, a prize-winning humorist who makes regular appearances on the BBC Radio 4 panel game Just a Minute.

And the charity's show will include Terry Saunders, ninth in Time Out's poll, a hit on five national BBC radio stations.

Another favourite on the bill will be Ed Byrne, a guest on TV programmes such as Have I Got News for You, who will make his debut in the new BBC2 series The Bubble on Friday (26 February).

The War on Want lineup also features Arsenal football supporter Ian Stone, who has appeared in the BBC Radio 5 Live sports panel show Fighting Talk and on TV's Mock the Week.

Sharing the limelight will be Dan Antopolski, who has won the BBC New Comedy Award and the 2009 prize for the best joke at the Edinburgh festival fringe.

Completing the bill will be prizewinning standup Andy Zaltzman, who co-hosted Radio 4's satirical series Political Animal and co-produces a weekly comic podcast for the Times newspaper online.

The show will be compered by Ivor Dembina, who is now touring his show This Is Not a Subject for Comedy about Israel and Palestine.

Stefanie Pfeil, fundraising director at War on Want, said: "Our strongest comedy lineup will guarantee a great night out for a great cause. We urge people who love a laugh and care about poverty to join us."

Doors open at 7.00 pm for the show, which starts at 7.30 pm.

People can book tickets, priced £20 and £15, at www.waronwant.org or www.ticketweb.co.uk or on 0844 477 2000.

CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media office (+44) (0)20 7549 0584 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

 

High street 'shame' hits fashion week

19 February 2010 - 12:25pm

London Fashion Week launches today amid claims that overseas garment workers are exploited producing clothes for British stores involved in the event's first-ever joint catwalk show presented by high street retailers.

‘Tackle bankers' greed to fight poverty'

8 February 2010 - 11:00pm

The anti-poverty charity War on Want today called on the leaders of Britain's political parties to turn bailed out bankers' greed into help for the developing world through a new tax on financial transactions.

Primark roasted on winter sales ‘abuse'

14 January 2010 - 11:27am

NEWS PEG: Thursday, 14 January 2010 Cold weather fuels big Primark sales rise


Retailer attacked over poverty pay workers

Cheap fashion retailer Primark is today accused of profiting from increased sales amid Britain's icy winter while leaving workers who produce its clothes out in the cold.

The attack came as Primark's parent company, Associated British Foods, announced recent sales by the fashion retailer exceeded its expectations.

Primark sales rose by 19 per cent in the 16 weeks to 2 January.

But amid bumper warm clothes sales in the chilly weather, Primark garment workers remain frozen out of its success, the charity War on Want claims.

It said people making Primark clothes overseas struggled to survive on poverty pay.

Last month the charity's research showed that workers toiled up to 84 hours a week and earned as little as £19 a month - less than half a living wage - making Primark clothes in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.

And its report on three Primark factories in the same city just over a year ago revealed workers earning as little as 7p an hour for up to 80-hour weeks.

Simon McRae, senior campaigns officer at War on Want, said: "Shareholders will give a warm reception to Primark's latest sales triumph. But these figures will get a cool response from people in suppliers' factories abroad. It is high time Gordon Brown acted to ensure decent treatment for overseas workers producing clothes for Primark and other UK stores."

CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media office (+44) (0)20 7549 0584 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

 


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This webpage has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this webpage are the sole responsibility of War on Want and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

 

Supermarket watchdog plan wins two cheers

13 January 2010 - 2:33pm

NEWS PEG - Wednesday, 13 January 2010 Government accepts the need for a supermarket ombudsman


Charity presses Mandelson for urgent appointment

The anti-poverty charity War on Want today welcomed the British government's announcement after long delay that ministers have accepted the need for a supermarket ombudsman to police retailers' behaviour towards suppliers.

The charity hailed the statement after its four years of campaigning for government regulation on supermarkets, but sought evidence that ministers will introduce tough curbs to halt supermarkets' abuse of suppliers.

War on Want expressed concern that the government's announcement of further consultation will delay the urgent need for a watchdog.

The charity asked for government assurance that the ombudsman would not let supermarkets off the hook over abuse.

It urged ministers to indicate the length of the consultation, whether the ombudsman would have independence, as well as its structure, operation and powers, including whether the body will cover overseas and non-food suppliers.

War on Want stressed the Competition Commission had already taken long and wide soundings before its proposal for a body to control supermarkets' relationship with suppliers.

Simon McRae, the charity's senior campaigns officer, said: "At last the government has acknowledged the need for a supermarket ombudsman amid many suppliers' complaints of abuse. But Mandelson must now minimise its delay and ensure the watchdog is independent, robust and has the authority to prevent stores exploiting overseas workers."

Over 200 cross-party MPs signed a parliamentary early day motion calling for an independent ombudsman.

The Conservatives have promised to establish a watchdog if they win the coming election.

It would, however, lie within the Office of Fair Trading, which War on Want says has failed to stand up to supermarkets.

According to War on Want, many South Africans earn well below a living wage on farms supplying fruit and wine to UK supermarkets.

The charity's research has also revealed that Kenyan and Colombian workers face poverty pay supplying flowers to British supermarkets.

War on Want is demanding that a watchdog should extend beyond agriculture to all sectors, including clothes suppliers.

The charity has revealed workers making garments for Tesco and Asda in Bangladesh receive only half a living wage.

Yesterday Tesco announced its best Christmas sales in three years, with strong non-food sales, especially clothes.


NOTE TO EDITORS: War on Want also welcomed the government's recognition that a watchdog would not affect consumer prices. The charity has cited research by economist Roger Clarke which found the ombudsman would not only protect suppliers, but would cost supermarkets just 0.005% of turnover, improve products, and, in some cases like agricultural products, lower prices.

CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media officer (+44) (0)20 7549 0584 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

 

 


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This webpage has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this webpage are the sole responsibility of War on Want and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

 

Mandelson pressed on stores watchdog

4 January 2010 - 9:47pm

NEWS HOOK: Conservatives promise to appoint a supermarket ombudsman


Abuse campaign grows after Tory pledge

Business secretary Lord Mandelson today faced mounting pressure to establish a supermarket ombudsman amid a Conservative pledge to appoint a watchdog that would protect suppliers from abuse.

The anti-poverty charity War on Want called on Mandelson to act after shadow environment secretary Nick Herbert announced that a future Tory government would appoint a supermarket ombudsman.

Herbert will deliver the promise in a speech tomorrow at the Oxford Farming conference.

The charity welcomes the pledge as a step towards a fair deal for overseas workers who supply British stores.

According to War on Want, many South Africans earn well below a living wage on farms supplying fruit and wine to UK supermarkets.

The charity's research has also revealed that Kenyan and Colombian workers face poverty pay supplying flowers to British supermarkets.

War on Want is demanding that a watchdog should extend beyond agriculture to all sectors, including clothes suppliers.

The charity has revealed workers making garments for Tesco and Asda in Bangladesh receive only half a living wage.

Simon McRae, senior campaigns officer at War on Want, said: "Supermarkets in the UK are shamelessly exploiting overseas workers who supply produce sold by their stores.

"While the government fails to do anything about the abuse of suppliers, even the Conservatives now recognise the need for action. The government must introduce a watchdog as an urgent priority."

Research by leading economist Roger Clarke found the ombudsman would not only protect suppliers.

It would also cost supermarkets just 0.005% of turnover, improve products, and, in some cases like agricultural products, lower prices.

And eight in 10 shoppers want a watchdog, according to a YouGov poll.

War on Want has led moves for a supermarket ombudsman with other groups, backed by more than 60,000 people who have taken action to strengthen the drive.

CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media office (+44) (0)20 7549 0584 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

 

 


EC_logo

This webpage has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this webpage are the sole responsibility of War on Want and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

 

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