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ScaredEitherWay

Gangmasters Struck Off: Cheap Foreign Labour, Housed In Overcrowded Caravans

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/8254033.stm

Three gangmasters who used Polish and Lithuanian workers to pick flowers in Cornwall have had their licences revoked after an investigation.

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) said it found overcrowded accommodation for workers living in caravans in Cornwall and Scotland.

Workers were paid £50 a week, with the rest of their wages held back until their contracts had finished.

The licences of AAW Contract Services, JDSS and EU Labour were revoked.

'Web of exploitation'

The workers would spend part of the year picking daffodils in Cornwall and the rest in Scotland.

They were aged mostly in their 20s and 30s and stayed at the Treleague Caravan Park in Helston when in Cornwall.

A GLA spokesman said the caravan park "did nothing wrong and helped with their inquiries".

The authority said it uncovered a "tangled web of exploitation" where one gangmaster supplied the workers and another arranged accommodation and transport.

Workers were not supplied with pay slips and any who left employment were not paid what they were owed.

GLA chairman Paul Whitehouse said: "Workers are not a commodity and should not be treated like one.

"The law is in place to protect them and we will enforce it."

Edited by ScaredEitherWay

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Picking daffs used to be a great way of earning good money down here. I knew people who would work like hell for £200 per day, 7 days a week, for a couple of months and then do the same for the bulps later on. This was a large part of their income, now gone for £50 per week labour, now that's progress.

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Picking daffs used to be a great way of earning good money down here. I knew people who would work like hell for £200 per day, 7 days a week, for a couple of months and then do the same for the bulps later on. This was a large part of their income, now gone for £50 per week labour, now that's progress.

are the flowers any cheaper though?

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are the flowers any cheaper though?

Cheaper for the farmer thats for sure, these flowers are for the London markets, so I doubt their will be cheaper for those buying them.

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Picking daffs used to be a great way of earning good money down here. I knew people who would work like hell for £200 per day, 7 days a week, for a couple of months and then do the same for the bulps later on. This was a large part of their income, now gone for £50 per week labour, now that's progress.

This really is as far away from progress as its possible to get!!

The farmer will have paid a lot more than £50 per week to the gangmaster. The article says wages held back - so my guess would be that the gangmaster is charging an hourly rate with deductions for everything they think they can get away with - Ive heard stories of gangmasters charging not only for housing and transport but also for producing payslips, workwear etc. The charges for these services are extortionate and in no way reflect the quality of accomodation (often 5+ people sharing a room) and dangerous buses with no MOT, no seatbelts etc

This is after many of these people have paid someone in their own country to help them find work.

In answer to another posters question - no the price of flowers will not reflect the £50 paid to the flower pickers.

Edited by Nick Dastardly

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This really is as far away from progress as its possible to get!!

The farmer will have paid a lot more than £50 per week to the gangmaster. The article says wages held back - so my guess would be that the gangmaster is charging an hourly rate with deductions for everything they think they can get away with - Ive heard stories of gangmasters charging not only for housing and transport but also for producing payslips, workwear etc.

This is after many of these people have paid someone in their own country to help them find work.

In answer to another posters question - no the price of flowers will not reflect the £50 paid to the flower pickers.

Getting struck off seems a very small penalty for what amouts to being a slave master in Great Britain in 2009.

Makes me so proud.

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They should fling the bestards in jail. I hate to say it, being a farmer's son, but I suspect some farmers are in on it. And those that aren't are guilty for not scrutinising the gangmasters and their practices closely enough. Shameful. I see this kind of thing going on all over the place.

The authorities are turning a blind eye on the whole. I wonder how many other gangmasters have been punished in this way...

Edited by gruffydd

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