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Page last updated at 19:42 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 20:42 UK

Spain to punish 'barbaric bakery'

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A Spanish bakery accused of barbaric behaviour towards an illegal worker will face "the full weight of the law", the government has vowed.

The statement comes amid shock over the case of a Bolivian worker whose arm was cut off in an accident at work.

Bosses at the bakery in Valencia are accused of dumping him 100m (330 feet) from the hospital entrance and throwing the severed limb in a rubbish bin.

A Spanish trade union has lodged a complaint against the bakery.

The union - the Workers Commissions (CCOO) - claims that in the early hours of 28 May, the arm of Franns Rilles was severed in a kneading machine while he was working.

It was allegedly dumped in a rubbish bin and only discovered by police the following day, by which time it was too late to reattach it.

Investigation

Mr Rilles was allegedly warned by the son of the bakery owner not to tell doctors where his accident had taken place, and was left a distance of some 100m from the hospital entrance, while bleeding heavily.

Mr Rilles, 33, had worked 12-hour days at the bakery, earning 23 euros a day (£20; $32) under no contract, for about a year and a half, the union says.

He is recovering in hospital, reported Spanish news agency Efe.

Police are investigating allegations of mistreatment.

The case has made national headlines, and on Thursday Work and Immigration Minister Celestino Corbacho vowed that "the weight of the law" would come down on the bakery if the allegations are substantiated.

Mr Corbacho said abusive practices were on the rise as workers' vulnerability jobs increased amid the economic downturn.

The bakery has reportedly been shut down and two bosses detained.

The government is considering granting Mr Rilles temporary residency in Spain on exceptional humanitarian grounds, Spain's El Pais newpaper reported.



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