Page last updated at 08:20 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 09:20 UK

Flower gangmasters lose licences

Daffodil picker
Workers were not given payslips

Three gangmasters who used Polish and Lithuanian workers to pick flowers in Cornwall have had their licences revoked after an investigation.

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) said it found overcrowded accommodation for workers living in caravans in Cornwall and Scotland.

Workers were paid £50 a week, with the rest of their wages held back until their contracts had finished.

The licences of AAW Contract Services, JDSS and EU Labour were revoked.

'Web of exploitation'

The workers would spend part of the year picking daffodils in Cornwall and the rest in Scotland.

They were aged mostly in their 20s and 30s and stayed at the Treleague Caravan Park in Helston when in Cornwall.

A GLA spokesman said the caravan park "did nothing wrong and helped with their inquiries".

The authority said it uncovered a "tangled web of exploitation" where one gangmaster supplied the workers and another arranged accommodation and transport.

Workers were not supplied with pay slips and any who left employment were not paid what they were owed.

GLA chairman Paul Whitehouse said: "Workers are not a commodity and should not be treated like one.

"The law is in place to protect them and we will enforce it."

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