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Illegal Deductions from Agency Workers

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In January of this year, GMB representatives on the DHL/ Nisa site in Scunthorpe, had been alerted by agency workers that £15 had been deducted from their wages without prior notification. This sector of the workforce had been told that they were being charged for their mi-fare cards; these cards gain them entry through the turnstile gates onto the site, operate and gain them secure lockers, give access to the distribution warehouse, pay for food/ drink as they activate the carousel machines and canteen tills, they also activate the mechanical handling equipment (MHE) which is an essential requirement to fulfil their role. No other sector of the workforce employed on site has to ‘pay’ for these obligatory cards, without which, you cannot work.

The GMB emailed The Best Connection agency regarding this issue, asking, not only for an explanation, but also stating that, unless there was a clause within their cP1010007 (1)ontract, this would be deemed an unlawful, illegal deduction of wages and that they must reimburse those affected immediately. Within a short period of time, Marc Dawson, a manager with the agency company contacted the union, explaining that they had meant to inform their workers prior to the deduction and that they had ‘made a mistake’, though they had now informed many of those involved and those employees were happy with the explanation. The GMB reiterated, it wasn’t a matter of notification and, unless they had a clause within their contracts allowing them legally to make this deduction, they were guilty of acting unlawfully and stressed they must repay the workers the £15. Marc called back within two days and confirmed the company were wrong to have made the deduction and that all those involved would have their monies reimbursed that week.

The GMB are in the forefront of battle for agency workers, those on zero hour contracts, part-time workers and those on short term or fixed contracts. We are witnessing a systemic abuse of workers in these sectors, brought about by unscrupulous employers, an uncaring, elitist Government who protect tax avoiding Companies, whilst deliberately destroying workers’ rights and rewarding those from the Banking sector who masterminded the global, financial meltdown, resulting in the longest depression since records began. There has never been a greater challenge for Unions to stand firm against this onslaught and there’s never been a stronger reason for you to join, for unlike the Tories, we truly are “ all in this together”.

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