‘Revoked’ gangmaster has new ‘phoenix business’ licence refused by GLA
6th August 2008
A gangmaster whose Birmingham business was shut down by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) has had his new business refused a licence amid "phoenixing fears‟.
Harnek Tung applied to the GLA for a licence for new business, PTE UK Limited, after the Authority revoked the licence of his former business, EMP Solutions, following a raid in December 2007 which uncovered worker exploitation. Among the major faults which EMP Solutions were found guilty of in the raid were:
Workers paid below the minimum wage
No evidence of accurate payslips
No records kept of days and hours worked
The GLA refused to give the new business a licence because Mr Tung was not considered to be "fit and proper‟ to hold a GLA licence due to his systematic failure to address the non-compliances in his former business.
Paul Whitehouse, GLA chairman, said:
“If the GLA closes down a business because of its failure to meet GLA standards, it does not mean the gangmaster can set up another, under another name, with no questions asked. It makes a mockery of the system. “He cannot simply set up shop under a different name. A crude ruse like this will not work. There is no easy way back for these kind of people.”
Notes to editors
1. So far, the GLA has licensed approximately 1,200. 70 licences have been revoked (7 with immediate effect). 1 person has been prosecuted for operating without a licence, with more prosecutions forthcoming.
2. The GLA stepped up its fight against those who abuse workers with the launch of Operation Ajax in June. The operation was set up to increase the GLA‟s activities with an 18-month programme of unannounced raids.
3. Paul Whitehouse, GLA Chairman, is available for interview.
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