Agents of the National Police have arrested in Madrid in recent days five owners of mechanical workshops accused of exploiting migrants for labor, taking advantage of the fact that they were in an irregular situation. According to a statement from the Superior Headquarters of the capital, the defendants used them to deal with the increased volume of work in their workshops during the holidays, but taking advantage of their situation of vulnerability to impose abusive and illegal working conditions: low wages, without rest and the deprivation of medical insurance in the event of an accident at work. One of those affected was not even of the minimum age required to work.
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The Police explain that the joint device with the Madrid Labor Inspection took place on July 19 and 20 in 11 workshops in Carabanchel and Vallecas, where the agents identified a total of 59 people. There they detected the presence of a migrant worker in an irregular situation, which led to the arrest of the workshop owner for a crime against workers’ rights.
The arrests and identifications increased in the coming days in the districts of Usera, Latina and Ciudad Lineal with 10 more inspections and another 29 identifications. In these new workshops, the agents verified that there were six other migrants being exploited for work. One of them was not even the minimum age of 16 required to be able to work in Spain.
In total, according to the Police, there are seven people detained and five of them have been brought before a court in Plaza de Castilla accused of crimes against the rights of workers and also for violations of the Immigration Law. Most are owners of workshops where migrants were exploited.
The investigators believe that the owners of the premises “were aware of the irregular situation of their workers, taking advantage of this circumstance to impose working conditions contrary to labor rights regulations.” Among other things, the National Police points out, “they were deprived of fair remuneration, rest days and mandatory vacations and even medical insurance in the event of an accident during the working day.”