Rogue gangmasters uncovered in two-pronged swoop

A swoop by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) has rooted out rogue gangmasters in the fresh produce sector in Lincolnshire and Lancashire.

Fifteen GLA officers carried out 16 separate inspections uncovered Indian, Lithuanian and Polish workers picking and packing cabbages, cauliflowers, leeks and spring onions, or packing salads and preparing plants in nurseries.

Workers are alleged to have been paid below the minimum wage, offered no holiday or sick pay, and no contracts with terms and conditions. They were transported in an untaxed van then left in a field without supervision and transport from 6am to 4pm, the GLA said.

A GLA spokesman added: "We can't identify companies until investigations are complete. But nobody hates a rogue gangmaster as much as a legitimate one."

Earlier surprise inspections under the GLA's Operation Ajax found gangmasters acting legally, but the second wave of swoops met with several "totally unacceptable" practices.

GLA chairman Paul Whitehouse said Lincolnshire had its problems with rogue gangmasters. Four gangmasters in the county have had their licences revoked since April.

"The good gangmasters and the businesses that use them have shown if we work together we can protect the workers and stop those who make profits illegally," he said.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, in contrast to other farming sectors, according to a new report by levy body AHDB with Agra CEAS Consulting.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

One area affected by the uncertainty around Brexit will be the ongoing development of agricultural technology, seen by many as essential to retain Britain's productivity and competitiveness in fresh produce along with other farming sectors.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon