In light of the recent jailing of a man in a modern slavery case involving the making of greeting cards for an un-named source (link to PG Buzz story last Thursday), the UK Greeting Card Association has wasted no time in offering guidance and advice to its members, urging them to state their ethical procedures.
As Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA highlighted: “This was a horrific case which had the potential to seriously damage our industry’s reputation”. In order to protect the UK greeting card industry’s high ethical and moral standards, Sharon strongly urges: “That all publishers with employees are up to date with their ethical obligations with regard to their supply chains.”
HR:4UK, a highly respected HR and employment support company, which has affiliations with the GCA (offering preferential rates for members), has provided a suite of documents which includes guidance notes and statements (covering anti-slavery and human trafficking assurances) which GCA members can and should feature on their websites.
These documents are now hosted in the GCA Members’ Area on the website.
Edward Zielinski admitted two counts of modern slavery and was given a jail sentence of three years and four months by Nottingham Crown Court last week. He kept two Polish immigrants locked in a loft in Nottingham, one of them forced to work 20 hours a day (from 8am-4am) affixing the attachments to greeting cards and using violence if his output was not high enough.
“As this is the first time in living memory that greeting cards being made in the UK have been implicated in this way, it is vitally important that the whole industry’s high ethical credentials are safeguarded. The GCA will be doing its utmost to help members in this matter,” Sharon assured.