13 gangmasters under investigation after Easter raid

An unannounced raid targeted labour providers in the flower, plant and bulb industry around Spalding and Boston in the run up to Mothers Day and Easter.

GLA officers with the assistance of the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) entered the premises of a number of nurseries, inspected vehicles used to transport workers and carried out worker interviews on several daffodil fields in the area.

The gangmasters were supplying hundreds of mainly English, Polish and Slovakian workers to pick daffodils and work in the nurseries.

Officers found:

  • workers were transported on a plank of wood held up by breeze blocks in the back of a transit van;
  • some workers had been charged £60 a week for accommodation and had not been given any work for three weeks;
  • workers were required to surrender their passports to the gangmaster;
  • agricultural minimum wage was not paid;
  • excessive accommodation charges, some charges were over £30 per week more than the legal requirement for minimum wage workers;
  • workers did not receive holiday pay;
  • workers were charged for Personal Protective Equipment to carry out their jobs; and
  • VOSA issued two prohibition notices on minibuses used to transport workers.

Thirteen licensed gangmasters are under investigation as a result of the operation.

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