28/07/2006

Radio campaign highlights exploitative practices

The first Polish and Portuguese language radio advertising campaign is to be launched in Northern Ireland in a bid to encourage workers in the agriculture, horticulture and food/drink processing and packaging industries to phone Crimestoppers or the GLA (Gangmasters Licensing Authority) helpline to report illegal or exploitative practices committed by labour providers and gangmasters.

The GLA was established in April 2005 and started licensing operations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on April 6 2006.

The campaign will be launched on July 31 and last for 4 weeks.

The GLA will also be reminding labour providers that they have until October 1 to get a licence or they will be committing an offence which carries a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to £5000.

Chief Executive of the GLA, Mike Wilson, said "We believe our adverts in Polish and Portuguese aimed at workers are a first for commercial radio. Through this campaign we want to build up trust with the workers who will be protected by the GLA so that they have the confidence to report the illegal gangmasters. We will use our powers to enforce the law whilst also offering advice and support to labour providers to get them licensed and remind them that they need to be licensed by October 1.

GLA enforcement officers are now operating in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland gathering and following up intelligence.

Anyone who knows of any illegal gangmaster activity is asked to contact the GLA on 0845 602 5020 during office hours, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 at any time.

(EF/SP)

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