Useful article by Don Flynn (former Migrant Rights Network director) on the Byron Burgers shopping of their employees. Flynn makes three key points against those who say that Byron are a victim of UK immigration policy:
Firstly, employers have generally been beneficiaries of deregulated labour markets that have been a major driver of immigration:
employers have benefitted enormously from the deregulation of labour markets over the years which have been one of the main driving forces of large-scale migration. Across whole sectors of the economy – from food production and processing, hotels and restaurants, construction and health and care services, retailing and more – there is scarcely a company in the UK which has not factored in the ready availability of hundreds of thousands of workers with minimal rights to job security into its business plans. The rise of the ‘gig’ economy is the big story of recent years, and its birth has been nursed along by successive governments which have demanded the maximum of flexibility from its workforce.
Secondly, businesses that have benefitted from deregulated labour markets have been silent on the issue of immigrant worker welfare:
Tens of thousands of businesses across the UK are, like Byron Hamburgers, massively dependent on a migrant labour force as the source of their profits. But whilst they form part of a powerful pressure group on government policy on matters concerning other areas of regulation business has remained silent when it comes to issues that concern the security and welfare of the workers who are responsible for making their profits.
Thirdly, Byron were not legally obligated to set up their workers:
It is not true to say that Byron’s management were obliged by law to provide this level of cooperation [by setting up the entrapment meetings]. By the accounts they had provided to the media they say that they had discharged all their obligations under immigration law to check documents and keep them on file. Furnished with this defence they were quite entitled to tell immigration officers that they had done what was required of them and any further action would have to be taken on the sole initiative of the Home Office itself.