Gangmasters hit YouTube
14th February 2008
People from sixteen to 106 are now able to watch a DVD designed to let people know why it is so important to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation.
The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), which was set up in 2005 to safeguard the interests of workers in the agricultural, shellfish, horticulture and forestry industry, has now released a DVD on the popular video-showing website YouTube with its ‘say no to exploitation’ message.
The GLA was established following the drowning of 23 cockle-pickers in Morecambe Bay in 2004. Since that date, the organisation has carried out operations aimed at preventing the exploitation of workers. In its latest crack-down – revealed this week – nine licensed gangmasters are being investigated for violating standards.
The new DVD shows how the organisation works and why it is so important labour providers operate within the law to ensure workers are not exploited or their lives put at risk.
The DVD has also now been sent to major UK supermarkets. GLA chief executive, Ian Livsey, said:
“By releasing our DVD onto YouTube we are hoping to target an audience we may never have reached before.
“Our aim is to try and let as many people know about what can go wrong when workers are placed in dangerous situations or are financially exploited.”
You can see the GLA DVD by uploading the link: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=QeAveGGAwCM The link can also be found on the GLA’s website: www.gla.gov.uk
Notes to editors
1. The Gangmasters Licensing Authority was set up in 2005 to curb the exploitation of workers in the agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering and associated processing and packaging industries following the death of 23 Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay in 2004.
2. More than 1,000 gangmasters are now licensed by the GLA
3. A gangmaster is an individual or business who:
• supplies labour to agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering and food processing and packaging
• uses labour to provide a service in the regulated sector, eg harvesting or gathering agricultural produce
• uses labour to gather shellfish.
To be granted a GLA licence all businesses must meet the GLA licensing standards and the principle authority of the business must meet ‘Fit or Proper’ person criteria. Cross government checks are made on all licence applications.
4. It has been an offence to supply labour to the GLA regulated sectors since 1 October 2006, with the maximum penalty being ten years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
5. All licences that are revoked have the right of appeal including licences revoked with immediate effect.
6. Copies of any appeal decisions can be obtained from the appeals secretariat Gangmasters Licensing Appeals, Defra, Electra Way, Crewe, Cheshire CW1 6GJ Telephone: 01270 754231, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Public enquiries: 0845 602 5020
Media enquiries: 0115 900 8963/07825 797130