UK gangmasters exploiting £8-a-week workers

Author: By Trevor Mason, Press Association

Alan Ritchie, general secretary of the construction union Ucatt, hit out at
“extreme abuses” in the industry.

And he urged ministers to extend the protections given by the gangmasters
licensing regulations to the construction industry.

Mr Ritchie told delegates that “exploited” workers were classed as
self-employed and denied sick pay, holiday pay or contracts of employment.

Gangmasters then took “unfair deductions” from their pay to cover
accommodation and transport, leaving them with little in their pockets.

In one PFI hospital project the union found building workers were being paid
just £8.80 a week.

“Criminal gangs are setting up gangmaster operations in the construction
industry and then disappear, making off with the tax and national insurance
payments. It’s a multi million pound fraud,” he said.

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