UK supermarket group Tesco is the latest retailer to become embroiled in allegations over exploiting the workers who make its clothes after two UK labour rights groups said wages at one of its suppliers in India are just GBP0.16 (US$0.32) an hour.

Charity War on Want and the campaign group Labour Behind the Label say workers at an unnamed clothing factory in Bangalore are struggling to survive on less than GBP1.50 a day for a 60-hour week.

This, the groups say, is only half a living wage - adding that a 20% hike in rice prices is making their lives even harder.

The accusations follow a BBC TV documentary on Monday (23 June) which showed workers, including children, in slum workshops and refugee camps making clothing for UK budget fashion chain Primark.

As a result of the programme, Primark sacked the three suppliers concerned.

And Spanish retail group Inditex has forced one of its suppliers to close a garment plant in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka after revelations of poor working conditions there.

War on Want vowed to bring the Indian researcher who uncovered the most recent scandal to protest at Tesco's annual meeting today.

According to the research, employees in the factory earn on average GBP38 a month, and the lowest paid receive just GBP30.

The Bangalore Garment and Textile Workers' Union last year calculated a living wage as at least GBP52 a month.

Employees are said to have complained that bosses forced them to work overtime or face the sack, and pay them for just half the extra hours worked.

Workers also say the high pressure to produce orders means they risk dismissal for failing to meet double their normal targets, requesting sick leave or arriving late on two consecutive days.

The factory does not recognise a trade union, and some workers fear managers are targeting them for potential firing for their individual union membership - which would flout Tesco's ethical code of conduct.

Simon McRae, senior campaigns officer at War on Want, wants the British government legislate to stop these abuses.

However, Tesco has hit back at the allegations, calling them "unsubstantiated."

The retailer issued a statement saying: "We have been trying to discuss our approach to ethical trading with [War on Want] for some time but they have simply ignored our calls.

"And now, out of the blue, they make these allegations without producing any evidence or giving us any detail on the factories they claim have problems. This means we cannot investigate.

"We insist on high standards and go to great lengths to ensure our suppliers meet them.

"If there is an issue in a factory supplying Tesco, we will deal with it and ensure that the interests of workers are protected."