Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Rise again Captain Swing!
The austerity caused by continued government cutbacks is creating a confusing kaleidoscope of hardship. As usual the poorest, the weakest and the least organised are bearing the brunt. The food and agriculture industry is home to some of the very worst working conditions and after the tragedy of the Morecambe Bay cockle pickers a Gangmaster Licencing Authority was set up in an effort to at least curtail the worst abuse. How effective the authority has been may be questioned but it has prosecuted a number of employers for using unlicensed gangmasters including National Farmers Union vice-president Gwyn Jones. Now, in a response to squeals from business about "red tape" the government are ordering a more light touch. Light touch. Now where have I heard that before? The food and agriculture sector are deeply enmeshed in the murky world of people trafficking and worker exploitation. Rise again Captain Swing !