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30 Oct 2012

Gangmasters Licensing Authority (UK)

Kent based gangmaster stopped from trading for serious exploitation of workers

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The Gangmasters Licensing Authority has revoked the licence of D J Houghton Catching Services Limited with immediate effect following a joint operation with Kent police.  The Maidstone based firm used gangs of workers to catch chickens at farms across the UK. But the GLA’s investigation found those workers suffered exploitation so extreme that the Authority had to order the firm to stop supplying workers to farms and food factories immediately…Evidence obtained directly by the GLA identified that the mainly Lithuanian workers were subjected to threats and physical violence, housed in overcrowded accommodation, and lived in a climate of fear.  The workers were also charged excessive job finding fees, had pay stopped for the most spurious reasons and had to work without proper health and safety equipment…