Vizcaya businessman arrested for alleged exploitation of workers

Provisional prison for 12 arrested in Palma de Mallorca airport incident. image: policia nacional

A BUSINESSMAN in Vizcaya province has been arrested for the alleged exploitation of workers, including making them work a straight 26-hour shift

National Police officers in the Vizcaya municipality of Zamudio, reportedly arrested a local businessman on August 17, who stands accused of exploiting his workers in a warehouse in the town, where they occasionally did what their boss called a “marathon”, a shift consisting of 26 straight hours, working from seven in the morning until nine in the morning of the day following, being given just one hour off to eat, while at night, they remained locked at the company’s facilities.

The police operation began when, in previous days, several workers voluntarily denounced at the Bilbao National Police Station that they were being exploited at work by their employer, and after verifying the seriousness and veracity of the events narrated by these victims, the investigators granted them the status of protected witnesses.

In statements to the police, the workers explained that as they did not have a residence permit, their boss had not formalised any contract for them, and that they received a wage of €5 per hour, while also reporting that when they suffered an occupational accident as a result of their work, and had to go to medical services, the owner instructed them not to mention either the company name, nor the place where they had suffered the injuries.

As a result of this information, officers from the Bilbao Immigration and Borders Brigade, along with officials from the Vizcaya Labor and Social Security Inspectorate, inspected the company, which is located in the Ugaldeguren industrial estate, in Zamudio, where they discovered a total of eight workers inside a workshop.

Four of them were found to be without a residence permit or a work contract, which is why the businessman who ran the business was arrested, and has since been released after giving a statement at the police station with the obligation to appear before the relevant court that will handle his case.

He is accused of an alleged crime against the rights of workers and is also facing a possible financial penalty of more than €70,000 for violating labor and Social Security legislation, as reported by 20minutos.es.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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