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Labour plans action on gangmasters

Labour plans to extend the licensing of gangmasters to the construction industry will help “rid the industry of rogue employment agencies” a trade union boss has said.

The party has pledged to crack down on rogue employers if it gets back into power. The government agency set up to stop the exploitation of manual workers called the Gangmasters Licensing Authority would be extended under the proposals.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: “Extending gangmasters licensing to the construction industry will help rid the industry of rogue employment agencies.”

After the death of 18 cockle pickers at Morecambe Bay in 2004 the Gangmasters Licensing Authority was established to halt the exploitation of workers in the shellfish gathering, agriculture, horticulture, forestry and food and drink processing and packaging industries.

Labour’s manifesto said the party would continue its crackdown on “exploitative” gangmasters, adding: “We will extend the licensing approach to labour providers in the construction industry if evidence shows that is the best way to enforce employment rights.”

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