Skip to main content

Next under fire for shipping in cheap labour

GMB accuses firm of bussing in low-wage workers to warehouses

General union GMB declared war on Next bosses yesterday for using EU law to drive down pay and conditions.

Yorkshire members will slap an Asbo on the retailer next Friday for hiring hundreds of Polish agency workers to toil in low-paid warehouse jobs.

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said Next was guilty of “gross abuse of UK and migrant workers” and it was time to “damn those who exploit.”

In Britain “from Lindsey Oil refinery to food production we have seen workers recruited in certain member states by agencies and exploited,” he said.

“They were shipped in literally in order to undermine the terms and conditions of existing workers on those contracts.

“Both sets of workers have been let down by UK government, the EU Commission and the European Court.”

Next boasted in January that it had made so much money it didn’t know what to do with it and predicts that profits will smash the £695 million haul it made this year.

However, a newspaper investigation revealed this profit margin has been achieved off the back of hundreds of Poles being shipped in for Christmas on the £6.50-an-hour minimum wage.

The workers are charged £100 each by a Polish recruitment agency for the low-paid jobs that earn 20 per cent less than their usual full-time worker, the Daily Mirror revealed.

The union announced the protest as their ongoing tour demanding better treatment of Next staff rolled into Wolverhampton.

The latest demo featured ex-The Beautiful South singers Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, who have signed up to the campaign for decent hours and  a £10-an-hour living wage at the firm.


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 9,475
We need:£ 8,525
12 Days remaining
Donate today