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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Bishop welcomes new law on gangmasters
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 Following the news that the Gangmasters (Licensing) Bill has completed all its stages in the House of Lords and received Royal Assent last Thursday, the Office for refugee Policy has issued the following statement. Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue, Chairman of the Office for Refugee Policy, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, has been concerned for some time about the injustices faced by migrant workers, especially regarding the exploitative practices of some illegal or rogue gangmasters. He believes that too many migrants are paid low wages and often work in conditions that put their lives at risk. Bishop O'Donoghue has been a strong supporter of the campaign to have a proper licensing and enforcement regime for all gangmasters, so as to ensure proper protection of migrant workers, and welcomed the new law. He said: "As Churches we cannot remain indifferent to the plight of migrant workers. I pay tribute to the efforts of Jim Sheridan MP and the Transport and General Workers Union in sustaining public support and steering this Bill through parliament. "I also welcome the support of the Government in making this possible. This legislation will be crucial to preventing the exploitation of migrant (and domestic) workers so essential to the British economy, especially in the agricultural, food processing and service sectors. "Tragedies such as the recent deaths of more than 19 cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay should not be allowed to happen again. What is important now is to ensure that this legislation should be backed up by well-resourced and effective enforcement."
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