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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 July 2009

Greedy bosses exploiting seasonal workers

The Independent recently reported on the exploitation of Bulgarian and Romanian workers by Tesco supplier, S&A Produce. Fruit pickers on a farm in Herefordshire received as little as 2.37 an hour after compulsory wage deductions were made. These included fees for cramped accommodation, access to outdated computer equipment and 'pastoral care.'

Deborah Jones

S&A employs the workers under the government's Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme in which Bulgarians and Romanians are exempt from the right to change jobs if they have problems with their employer. As well as often only being given 15 hours a week, the shortened season of strawberry picking this year has meant that 346 employees have had their contracts terminated earlier than they expected. None of this is illegal but it has left many workers without enough money for flights home.

This is another example of foreign workers being exploited by employers who seek to avoid paying fair wages and offering secure jobs. This is why we need to fight for the rights of all workers in Britain.

According to The Independent's report Tesco are investigating the claims against S&A. It seems unlikely the supermarket giants will take any responsibility for the poor treatment of workers in their supply chain.

It is hardly surprising farms are using loopholes in employment laws to cut labour costs when Tesco put so much pressure on them on price. Yet Tesco are enjoying rising annual profits of over 3 billion.

Worcester Socialist Party branch is campaigning on this, producing a leaflet and organising action in Herefordshire.

Also in the region, unemployment has risen at double the national average in the market town of Evesham. This shows that much more needs to be done to protect the jobs and rights of both British and foreign workers in the fresh produce industries who are often on low paid seasonal or temporary contracts.

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In The Socialist 29 July 2009:

Nationalise to save jobs and the environment

Vestas - build mass action for victory


Unison witch-hunt:

Unison witch-hunt: Defend the Unison Four!

What you can do to help the campaign


War and occupation

Afghanistan - Withdraw the troops


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Swine flu: Profit system puts people at risk

Hospital worker reinstated


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Building support for world socialism


Youth fight for jobs

No to the Future Jobs Fraud

Public shows support for Youth Fight for Jobs campaign


Socialist Party workplace news

Kilmarnock: Anger over Diageo's jobs massacre

Greedy bosses exploiting seasonal workers

Cardiff cuts protest

Street cleaners lobby council

National meeting for: Socialist Party trade union members


Socialist Party review

Futurism


Marxist analysis: history

When workers shut down Minneapolis


Socialist Party news and analysis

Success for Stop the Strip campaign

California's Budget crisis: Huge cuts spark workers' anger

Milburn goes to top of class

Protest against BNP's 'festival of hate'


 

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