MIGRANTS HAVE RIGHTS – GMB warns bully bosses

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Delegates applauding at the GMB Congress yesterday morning
Delegates applauding at the GMB Congress yesterday morning

THE GMB yesterday at its annual Congress in Blackpool demanded that the owner of the American Dry Cleaning Company, Julian Stone, reinstate two workers he recently sacked for joining the GMB union.

Mill Hill resident Julian Stone’s company J F Stone Investments Ltd made a gross profit in 2004 of £1,252,030 and in 2003 of £991,772.

Raj Gill, GMB Branch Secretary told the 500 GMB delegates at Congress that the 85-strong, mainly female, workforce of Polish migrant workers are bullied and harassed into working up to 60 hours a week in possibly dangerous working conditions with chemicals and machinery. The workers are paid the National Minimum Wage.

GMB is seeking ‘Interim Relief’ for sacked worker Mr Adil Qurban at the Watford Employment Tribunal within the next two weeks. Adil lives with his wife and family in Harrow. Mr Adil and Mr Bala Kandasamy, who lives in Brent, were GMB’s key activists in the company.

Adil and Bala’s GMB work inside the company means that GMB has almost 80 per cent membership at the Colindale site. GMB is pursuing full recognition rights via a formal Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) hearing later this month on the 22nd.

The company, which provides ‘a prestigious dry cleaning service’ to London’s hotels, is accused by the GMB of anti-union activity and intimidating workers who have joined the union.

GMB will be holding a demonstration outside one of The American Dry Cleaning Company shops in Upper Street, Islington at 9am on Tuesday 20th June 2006.

Raj Gill GMB Hotels and catering workers Branch Secretary told GMB Congress in Blackpool: ‘The migrant workers are bullied into working long hours in appalling conditions, no health and safety checks and a management regime that would have been more akin to mill owners in the last century.

‘GMB believes that Mr Stone is deliberately taking advantage of the fact that his workers are migrants with English not their first language. This company seems to believe that migrant workers have no rights at work whatsoever. He is wrong and the GMB will educate him in the rights that his workers have regardless of their country of origin.’