Marks & Spencer share price little changed as retailer accused of labour abuses in Cambodia

on Mar 12, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
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Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS) and several other high-end fashion brands, including Gap, H&M, Adidas and Armani, have been implicated in a report on labour abuses in Cambodia. A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report said yesterday that despite strong laws, Cambodia is failing to protect workers involved in the global garment supply chain.

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In interviews with 270 workers from 73 factories, the pressure group found many factories repeatedly issued short-term contracts to avoid paying workers maternity and other benefits, and to make it easier to fire them. Workers also experienced retaliation, including dismissal, pay cuts or transfers to piece-work wages if they refused to work overtime. The report also highlighted unlawful discrimination against pregnant women.
M&S does not publicly disclose the names of its suppliers but HRW found evidence that 13 of the 73 factories examined supplied goods to the British retail giant. A company spokesman said, as quoted by BBC: “We have not been presented with any evidence to support these claims. If HRW comes to us with any evidence we will, of course, investigate.” The retailer, which has committed to publishing a list of its suppliers next year, insisted that its suppliers adhered to strict ethical standards. It added that its factories were audited regularly by third party, independent auditors and M&S compliance managers.
As of 12:17 GMT, Marks & Spencer’s share price was 0.28 percent higher at 498.13p. According to the Financial Times, the 25 analysts projecting 12 month price targets for the FTSE 100-listed retailer, have a median target of 500.00p, with a high estimate of 570.00p and a low of 350.00p. As of 7 March 2015, the consensus forecast amongst 41 polled investment analysts covering Marks & Spencer has it that the company will outperform the market.
As of 13:32 GMT, Thursday, 12 March, Marks and Spencer Group Plc share price is 497.35p.

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