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Extend Role Of Gangmasters Licencing Authority

Monday, August 10, 2015

Government Announcement On Raids On Rogue Employers Is About News Headlines Rather Than Tackling Exploitation Of Migrant Workers

Extending role of Gangmasters Licencing Authority is the only way to deal with criminal gangsters hiding behind agencies and other limited liability companies to organize exploitation of one million workers across EU says GMB.

GMB commented on the new announcement by Government to tackle rogue employers who exploit migrant workers.  See notes to editors for story on Press Association dated 10th August on rogue employers to be hit from all angles, minister warns.

Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB National Officer, said “This announcement of raids is more about grabbing news headlines than tackling exploitation.

The tiny numbers of firms prosecuted shows the Government is not serious on this.

The only effective approach on tackling exploitation in the labour market is – don’t blame the exploited; damn those who exploit.

If the Government was serious about tackling exploitation they would adopt the recommendation of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe that the Gangmasters Licencing Authority (GLA) enforcement authority should be extended to cover construction, domestic work, care, hospitality and other sectors like private hire.

Extending role of the Gangmasters Licencing Authority is the only way to deal with criminal gangsters hiding behind agencies and other limited liability companies to organize exploitation of approximately one million workers across the EU.

In November 2014 the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers Unions (EFBWW) said that all over Europe there are labour agencies exploiting posted workers estimating that approximately one million workers are exploited as posted workers annually.

EFBWW went on to say that although the problem is well known at European level there is not enough interest to resolve the problem adding that statements by President of the European Commission Mr Juncer that social dumping will be combated have led to no effective measures being taken,

EFBWW said that instead of supporting member states to strengthen controls and close well known legal and administrative loopholes the Commission was doing the exact opposite to weaken national controls which facilitate these scandalous practices.

Across the length and breadth of the land people know that there is undercutting of wages and conditions by employers exploiting agency labour recruited from poorer areas of Europe.

On Teesside, for example, an employer insists that the 1 in 10 of the predominately migrant workforce who are required to speaks English are identified by a UK flag sticker on their hard hats while paying them £5 per hour below agreed rates for construction workers.

A good start would be to recognise that the use of collective agreements such as the National Agreement for the Construction Industry (NAECI) is a benchmark to eradicate exploitation in the construction industry. This has been proven on many projects such as Cottam Flue Gas Desulphurisation project, Lindsey Oil, Uskmouth Power Station, and more recently Ferrybridge multifuels.

Reforms are badly needed to stop this exploitation. However the Tory Party is being two faced on this. It knows that the EU reform/better regulation measures announced on 19th May as a way of getting rid of “red tape” are the mechanisms to be used to secure the changes to social and employment rights that are central to Tory/ CBI reform re-negotiations ahead of the EU referendum.

If what David Cameron brings back from the re-negotiations tilts the balance even further away from standards for workers, as the CBI wants, many organizations traditionally in favour will campaign for a No vote.”

End

Contact: Kamaljeet Jandu GMB National Officer, 07956 237178 or Phil Whitehurst  07968 338810  or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

Notes to editors

Story on Press Association dated 10th Aug 2015

Illegal migrant rogue employers will be hit from all angles, minister warns

By Gavin Cordon, Press Association Whitehall Editor

Rogue employers who give jobs to illegal immigrants will be hit with the "full force" of the government machine, immigration minister James Brokenshire warned.

He said the Government was determined to act against businesses which were denying work to British nationals and driving down wages.

His comments came as The Times reported that immigration officers were preparing to mount a wave of raids this autumn targeting building sites, care homes and cleaning contractors.

"Rogue employers who give jobs to illegal migrants are denying work to UK citizens and legal migrants and helping drive down wages," Mr Brokenshire said.

"Experience tells us that employers who are prepared to cheat employment rules are also likely to breach health and safety rules and pay insufficient tax.

"That's why our new approach will be to use the full force of government machinery to hit them from all angles and take away the unfair advantage enjoyed by those who employ illegal migrants."

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