Activists strike at Chorlton Tesco, Manchester

4.7.2009
Manchester residents concerned about the presence of a Tesco store in Chorlton covered the shop in a hard hitting message to locals and the company late last night. They sprayed “Tesco is a virus” and “Tesco destroys places” in large letters across the front of the business.

Those who graffitied the supermarket say they did so because they are concerned about the effect of stores such as this on the local area. They are also angry about Tesco’s record on workers rights, both abroad and at home, and their massive contribution to climate change.

The new Tesco is proving damaging to small local businesses, many of which have been around for many decades. Far from increasing choice, the introduction of Tesco has just added to Tesco’s stranglehold and is pushing out all of the area's variety and vitality.

Dan, one of those involved in last night's activity said, “It’s pretty horrifying that 1 out of every 3 pounds spent on groceries in Britain is spent in Tesco. This kind of uniformity is not what we want, it’s destroying the vibrancy of local communities.”

The planned opening of the Tesco was the subject of much anger in the local area and kick-started a campaign against its construction called Keep Chorlton Interesting (It should be stressed that none of those involved in this campaign were responsible for this action). Despite opposition from hundreds of local residents, independent retailers, councillors and the local MP, the national planning inspectorate overturned the decision by the Manchester City Council Planning Committee to refuse the application.

Tesco’s record on workers rights is shocking. War on Want, the anti-poverty charity, showed last year that workers in one of Tesco’s factories in India were being payed £1.50 a day and forced to work 60 hour weeks.

Barak Obama recently weighed into the debate and attacked Tesco for refusing to allow workers to unionise in its stores in a letter to its boss Terry Leahy.

On top of all this Tesco is a major contributor to climate change: its shops are energy-intensive, food is flown in from thousands of miles away, and the company's demand for products like palm oil is destroying vast tracts of the rainforest.

“Tesco will trample on anyone or anything for a quick buck. All they care about is their profit margins. Well, we say, it’s time we fought back and that’s just what we’ve started to do here,” said activist, Dan.

The group say they will be willing to act in a similar way in the future if it helps to highlight the true nature of Tesco. Manchester residents concerned about the presence of a Tesco store in Chorlton covered the shop in a hard hitting message to locals and the company late last night. They sprayed “Tesco is a virus” and “Tesco destroys places” in large letters across the front of the business.

Those who graffitied the supermarket say they did so because they are concerned about the effect of stores such as this on the local area. They are also angry about Tesco’s record on workers rights, both abroad and at home, and their massive contribution to climate change.

The new Tesco is proving damaging to small local businesses, many of which have been around for many decades. Far from increasing choice, the introduction of Tesco has just added to Tesco’s stranglehold and is pushing out all of the area's variety and vitality.

Dan, one of those involved in last night's activity said, “It’s pretty horrifying that 1 out of every 3 pounds spent on groceries in Britain is spent in Tesco. This kind of uniformity is not what we want, it’s destroying the vibrancy of local communities.”

The planned opening of the Tesco was the subject of much anger in the local area and kick-started a campaign against its construction called Keep Chorlton Interesting (It should be stressed that none of those involved in this campaign were responsible for this action). Despite opposition from hundreds of local residents, independent retailers, councillors and the local MP, the national planning inspectorate overturned the decision by the Manchester City Council Planning Committee to refuse the application.

Tesco’s record on workers rights is shocking. War on Want, the anti-poverty charity, showed last year that workers in one of Tesco’s factories in India were being payed £1.50 a day and forced to work 60 hour weeks.

Barak Obama recently weighed into the debate and attacked Tesco for refusing to allow workers to unionise in its stores in a letter to its boss Terry Leahy.

On top of all this Tesco is a major contributor to climate change: its shops are energy-intensive, food is flown in from thousands of miles away, and the company's demand for products like palm oil is destroying vast tracts of the rainforest.

“Tesco will trample on anyone or anything for a quick buck. All they care about is their profit margins. Well, we say, it’s time we fought back and that’s just what we’ve started to do here,” said activist, Dan.

The group say they will be willing to act in a similar way in the future if it helps to highlight the true nature of Tesco.