Tuesday, October 19

A businessman from Cocentaina accused of exploiting employees arrested: 12-hour workdays for 400 euros

Agents of the National Police have arrested an important businessman in the textile sector in Cocentaina (Alicante) accused of a crime against workers’ rights: they worked 12-hour workdays for 400 hours and carried out their work in very precarious conditions.

As reported by Headquarters in a statement, the businessman was being investigated for a few months as a result of very specific information captured by the agents of the Alcoy Local Police Station of the National Police.

As this information emerged, one of the most important clothing recycling companies in the country, in addition to having its legal company, was nourished by other clandestine warehouses where, irregularly and without any type of security measure, Workers without a contract and, some of them even without a residence permit, carried out selection and cutting work in the recycling of textile garments.

With the investigation advanced, which has been directed by the Alcoy Foreigners and Borders Brigade of the National Police, it was possible to locate three industrial warehouses, where workers entered early in the morning and remained locked up all day without ventilation, carrying out clothing recycling work in dangerous conditions for health.

Once the certainty of the commission of these events was had, a broad police mechanism was established coordinated between the different Units of the Alcoy Police Station, together with the Unit Attached from the National Police to the Generalitat Valenciana and the Labor Inspectorate of Alicante to proceed with the inspection of the three industrial buildings located in the industrial estate of the Alicante town of Cocentaina.

Thus, the exploitation of the operation began with the entry into the warehouses and some workers tried to flee on the run, while others began to hide among the mountains of clothing so as not to be located.

In total, the agents located 15 men, all of Moroccan nationality, some of them without a work contract, in addition to the fact that even four lacked residence and work permits in the country. The latter were detained to initiate an administrative procedure for violation of the Immigration Law for irregular stay. They were released after a few hours.

No ventilation or basic measures

The agents, during the inspection, were able to verify in situ the precarious and dangerous conditions -without ventilation or basic measures of personal protection against Covid-19- in which the workers carried out this illegal activity.

Through the testimony, the investigators also learned that the workers worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, for which they received a salary of 400 euros in cash, less than half the minimum interprofessional salary.

After analyzing the evidence obtained, the businessman, a 44-year-old male of Moroccan origin, was located and arrested as allegedly responsible for the illicit activity, who was charged with a crime against workers’ rights. The operation was carried out by agents of the National Police of the Local Police Station of Alcoy, framed in the Brigade of Foreigners, Citizen Security and Judicial Police.


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