U.K.: Potato labor supplier has license revoked for endangering workers
The British government's Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) also discovered sole trade Sheila Wood, of Stonehaven, Scotland, lacked the required competencies to run her business.
Her license has now officially been revoked.
According to a release, when the former headteacher's business was inspected officers discovered she had failed to comply with several licensing standards.
"This license was revoked immediately because the holder exhibited a flagrant disregard for the well-being of her employees," says GLA chief executive Paul Broadbent in the release.
"She transported them in a van after it was deemed dangerous during an MOT inspection and failed seven other GLA licensing standards which are these specifically to protect vulnerable workers.
"She also appeared to lack the required skills and knowledge to run a complaint business and worked with a convicted illegal gangmaster, factors which both weighed heavily against her when making our decision."
Despite the dangerous condition of the van, potato pickers were stilled being driven to farms by unlicensed gangmaster Rimantas Sulcas who was convicted in May 2014 of unlicensed labor provision to potato farms around the Scottish regions of Aberdeenshire and Angus.
From the outset when applying for her license, 57-year-old Wood was told Sulcas must not be involved in her business operations with permission from the GLA.
As this was never sought, GLA says Wood breached this specific additional condition attached to her license and also failed a 'fit and proper person' test, both of which are critical requirements for retaining her license.
The GLA also found workers had not been paid overtime properly.