Unite statement on government’s immigration proposals

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “Unite represents workers right across the economy. We have seen first-hand what the abuse of migrant workers can do to a workforce and a community which is why for years we have been calling on governments to do more to uphold and enforce labour standards.

“Had they done so we would not have seen the abuses of migrant labour so prevalent in recent years.

“Unfortunately, the government is still ignoring the pressing need to invest in labour market enforcement to ensure that workplaces and workers are safe, that the rate for the job is being paid, and that there are no unlawful deductions being made from pay packets.

“However, at current rates of investment, an employer can expect a visit once every 500 years. That is a signal to the rogues that they can get away with ripping off workers.

“Workers be they in hospitality or agriculture will also be distressed to hear a government minister actively encourage employers to replace them with robots with no sense of the investment and time managing this change will take, and patients and their families will be concerned about what that means for social care and NHS patients.

“Migrant workers have contributed and do contribute greatly to our economy and country. Today’s proposals must not create hostility to these workers. We urge Unite members concerned about their status to call our helpline on 0333 323 1291.”