1. National

Labour in foreign staff row

Labour's immigration spokesman has modified planned criticism of Tesco and Next over claims they preferred eastern European workers after a preview of his speech drew a furious response from the firms. Tesco said it "absolutely refutes" the claim.

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  1. Laura Kuenssberg

Tesco 'absolutely refutes' Labour's foreign staff claims

In a blog, Tesco has said it "absolutely refutes" accusations that they hired foreign workers to save money on pay, saying:

We absolutely refute any suggestion that we moved colleagues from Harlow to Dagenham to give them a “pay cut” and reduce the wage bill.

The Dagenham site is a multi-million pound development – it doesn’t make sense to invest that sum of money in order to reduce a wage bill.

It is also not true that “a large proportion” of the workers in Dagenham are non-British.

Whether employed directly by Tesco or through an agency, they are overwhelmingly from the local area.

But the most serious accusation is that we have employed foreign workers in Dagenham on cheaper wages over British workers.

This is simply untrue.

– Tesco statement

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