Pohoto TaxRebate.org.uk (Creative Commons)

Pohoto TaxRebate.org.uk (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Mary Jackson

The Guardian and BBC news have exposed garment manufacturers in Leicester employing thousands of workers on £3 an hour, less than half the minimum wage.

How is this possible? Paying the minimum wage is a legal requirement. Why aren’t the employers facing prison?

The report says that some workers are being paid ‘in the hand’, no wage slips, no proof of income, no employment protection, and I’m guessing no health and safety.

The Guardian talks of bullying, threats, arbitrary humiliation, denial of toilet breaks, and theft of maternity pay. This is unacceptable. If the newspapers and TV can find out the truth and expose it then why has there been no action?

In 2015, 37 firms were fined a total of £51,000 for paying less than the minimum wage. Not even £1,500 each. Well it’s a bargain for the employers. They’d stolen £177,000 from their workforce and got a tiny slap on the wrist.

And the final insult, the fine and repaying the money they’d stolen will be tax deductible!

The trade unions need to get actively involved. Unionise the workers, expose the shops that are selling these clothes and call for a boycott. This exploitation must be ended.