Responding to news that six Lithuanian men are suing DJ Houghton for abuse and mistreatment, Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) today called for tough action to ensure labour rights are upheld in the UK. The men are also demanding answers from the main UK labour inspectorate acting to protect workers from labour exploitation, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA). FLEX has previously called for the GLA to have increased powers, remit and resources to ensure workers rights are not abused and that exploited workers are compensated.
FLEX Policy Director, Caroline Robinson said:
“This shocking case shows that unless we have a labour inspection system that places workers front and centre then traffickers will continue to act with impunity. Not only have the GLA’s remit and resources been reduced in recent years, but they are facing continued pressure to limit pro-active investigations, this will not come without repercussions for workers.”
“The Prime Minister has proposed a Labour Market Enforcement Agency in the forthcoming Immigration Bill, yet if labour inspection is only valued as a means of immigration control then many more cases like this will be missed in the UK. A truly worker-centred inspection system is needed in uphold worker’s rights and prevent modern slavery.”