- 19 updates
Tesco has released its recruitment policy for its new Essex distribution centre after relocating it from Harlow to Dagenham.
The supermarket chain reacted after reports that the shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant had planned to claim it employed foreign workers because they were cheaper than local ones.
His modified speech, delivered this morning, had removed the claim.
The charter promises to "do everything possible to secure as many positions possible for Colleagues at Harlow DC [distribution centre] to transfer to the Dagenham DC" and to "engage with the local people."
You can see the full charter here.
Responding to criticism from Labour's Chris Bryant, Immigration Minister Mark Harper defended the government's immigration minister said the government's "tough reforms" are having an impact "in all the right places."
Labour's immigration minister Chris Bryant toned down his speech on the impact of foreign labour on the UK labour market, omitting some of the extracts reportedly leaked to the Sunday Telegraph.
Mr Bryant dropped key passages from the speech, and made it clear that he did not label either of the companies "unscrupulous"
He did however criticise Next for using a recruitment agency that has an entirely Polish website, and he said both companies need to look at why they take on significant numbers of workers from overseas. Libby Weiner reports.
Tesco have welcomed Chris Bryant's praise during his speech on immigration and the labour market, and stressed the "vast majority" of the people they recruited for their Dagenham store are British and live locally.
Labour MP Chris Bryant denied he was ever going to label Next and Tesco as "unscrupulous" employers, but said he had serious concerns of how the labour market was working. Speaking to ITV News he said:
Employers feel the need, including Tesco and Next, to take on significant numbers of workers from overseas. I think the way the labour market works in Britain effectively prices local workers out of the market and leads to exploitation of foreign workers."
Delivering his speech to the IPPR centre-left think-tank in London, Mr Bryant said unscrupulous employers were taking advantage of EU working rules to recruit foreign workers and pay them less than minimum wage:
Labour's shadow immigration minister said it was important to ask questions about the impact of foreign workers on the UK labour market, and address the concerns of UK residents and citizens.
He said there were questions of fairness to be asked about the hiring practises of British firms that specifically target foreign workers, and singled out Next and their association with an agency that targets Polish staff though its Polish language (only) website.
Chris Bryant MP said having a good standard of English should be a pre-requisite for studying or living in the UK, and that local authorities should spend money on teaching English rather than translating documents.
Labour MP Chris Bryant said the Home Office advertisements to encourage illegal immigrants to leave the country were "poorly worded and tasteless, " and branded the government's immigration policy in general as adding up to "cheap and nasty gimmicks."
Latest ITV News reports
Labour's immigration spokesman had to amend planned criticism of Tesco and Next over claims they preferred eastern European workers.