date: 24 May 2012
embargo: For immediate release
Commenting on government plans announced today (Thursday) to scale back the remit of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'We welcome the government's rejection of Mr Beecroft's call to abolish the GLA, but today's announcement will still reduce protection for many vulnerable workers.
'It will now be much easier for new gangmasters - including those who have lost licenses previously - to set up without facing proper checks.
'And while it is right to prosecute organised crime, too rigid a focus will send the signal that routine exploitation will be ignored by the authorities.
'Major retailers at the top of supply chains have customers who ask hard questions about the ethics of the goods they buy. They will now be able to offer far less reassurance that UK-sourced food is free from exploitation.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- More information on changes to the GLA is available at www.defra.gov.uk/news/2012/05/24/glachanges
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
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Issued: 24 May, 2012