Anil had also been reluctant to speak, saying he feared for his family’s safety. But he agreed because he was so angered by the treatment of workers. While his wife looks after their two children, he has been working about 40 hours a week for £200, about £5 an hour.
There was no canteen, and rats and mice were visible on the factory floor, Anil claimed. There was no hand sanitiser until last week, and the single men’s toilet had no soap. “They have put us in danger,” he said. “If I feel sick, I make my family sick. I put them in danger too.”
Since the second lockdown began, though, the pattern in Leicester has shifted. If the North Evington area where many of the city’s factories are based was previously beset with risky working practices and almost no scrutiny, this week an abundance of attention has come just as many workshops went dark.