Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband has said he will consider extending the scope of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) to other sectors known to have exploited workers – statements that have been welcomed by the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT).
In a speech to the Institute of Public Policy Research, Mr Miliband pointed out this legislation was introduced in the wake of the deaths of Chinese cockle-pickers at Morecambe Bay.
Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy said Mr Miliband’s speech reveals that “Labour understands the problems that workers face and is dedicated to stamping out workplace exploitation”.
The union has been calling for the GLA to be extended across the construction sector for a long time, claiming the use of employment agencies in the industry has been increasing rapidly.
This has resulted in levels of exploitation in building firms increasing, the trade group said.
Mr Miliband also argued some industries lock British workers out of employment.
“Far too many British firms in construction today find it is in their interests to hire foreign-trained workers,” the minister remarked.