The Gangmasters Licensing Authority has revoked a licence to a Cornish gangmaster for abuse of 40 Bulgarian workers.

A gangmaster in Cornwall has had its license revoked after its Bulgarian workers had to scavenge for food when it failed to pay their wages.

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority had already revoked Redruth gangmaster Baltic Work Team’s license, but at appeal had allowed it to continue trading until 24 August.

But a second investigation found “a significant threat to the health and welfare of 40 Bulgarian workers”, leading to the GLA revoking the licence with immediate effect.

Baltic Work Team had refused to pay its workers’ wages for 35 days, and threatened to evict them from their homes and send them back to Bulgaria if they did not pay their rent, said a GLA spokeswoman. The workers, many of whom did not have work permits, were forced to eat the crops they had been picking for growers in the region.

“Revoking a licence is a serious decision and is only taken when we find significant non-compliance,” added chairman Paul Whitehouse. “I find it incredible that a business which had been given the chance at the appeal hearing to put its house in order and reapply for a new licence would not take this opportunity.”

marrow picking-fwi

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority has revoked a licence to a Cornish gangmaster for abuse of 40 Bulgarian workers

  • Farmers can check gangmasters’ licenses or report rogue activity on the GLA’s website, www.gla.gov.uk or by calling 0845 602 5020.