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Government must end rampant exploitation of migrant workers says Usdaw

Date: 23 January 2023 Retail trade union Usdaw has joined with other unions to condemn Government’s attempts to ‘pit’ workers against each other, and to call for urgent action to advance the rights of migrant workers, including undocumented people, and end migrant worker exploitation.
Signatories to the statement include ASLEF, BFAWU, Community, IWW, ITF, IWGB, Musicians Union, NASUWT, NUJ, NEU, PCS, RMT, SWU, the TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, Usdaw, USW and URTU. It has been co-ordinated by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “As part of the trade union movement, we are committed to unionising and supporting migrant workers and preventing exploitation in the workplace. Undocumented workers, remain at the sharpest end of workplace insecurity.

"The Government must separate immigration enforcement from labour market inspections, to ensure everyone can safely report abuse and exploitation. The Government’s hostile policies, which have been significantly expanded since 2019, are putting migrant workers at increased risk of abuse and exploitation.”
A spokesperson from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants said: “Every worker should be able to report abuse or mistreatment they’ve suffered on the job without fear, but this Government is currently prioritising anti-migrant hostility over exploitation-free workplaces. The only people this benefits are predatory bosses. Levelled up rights for migrant workers, on the other hand, would benefit all workers.”
Kate Bell, Assistant General Secretary at the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said: “No matter your background, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity at work. This Government has created a system where exploitation of migrant workers is rampant. From unpaid wages, to debt bondage and forced labour, to being sacked without notice; migrant workers are routinely treated appallingly by their employers, who are too often allowed to get away scot-free.
“The Government has totally failed to protect migrant workers from exploitative employers. That’s why the TUC will continue to demand action from government and stand up for migrant workers.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has, for more than half a century,  been challenging policies that lead to discrimination, destitution and the denial of rights; and providing much needed legal and advice services to the people who need them most www.jcwi.org.uk
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers