Gangmaster checks expose misconduct

Surprise inspections by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) on gangmasters operating in Lincolnshire have uncovered a series of malpractices such as workers allegedly being paid below the minimum wage.

The visits by 15 GLA officers were part of a four-day exercise, which took place earlier this month across Lincolnshire and Lancashire, where workers were harvesting and packing vegetables or preparing plants at nurseries.

In 16 inspections, the gangmasters interviewed were able to demonstrate that GLA requirements were being met, the authority said. But in four field visits to holdings in Lincolnshire, interviews by officers found that workers were allegedly paid below the legal minimum, without contracts or arrangements for holiday or sick pay.

Allegations also included workers being left in a field at 6am without supervision and transport to pick produce until they were collected at 4pm, and an untaxed van used as worker transport.

The workers interviewed were mainly of Indian, Polish and Lithuanian nationalities.

The exercise was part of Operation Ajax, which started in June. During an 18-month period, 20 to 30 surprise raids will target areas where the GLA believes workers are being exploited.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

How big are the UK and Europe's apple and pear harvests likely to be?

How big are the UK and Europe's apple and pear harvests likely to be?

After a sizeable dip last year, Europe's apple harvest looks to be back on track, and could even break recent records. But the wider global situation means it should find a ready market.

What is the future for glyphosate?

What is the future for glyphosate?

The horticulture industry has defended glyphosate after a landmark US court case saw chemical company Monsanto ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a groundskeeper who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

Should more be done to address farm thefts and other crimes?

Should more be done to address farm thefts and other crimes?

The cost of vehicle thefts from farms is rising, while trust in the police's ability to deal with rural crime is in decline, two new reports show.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Fruit Producers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

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