07 February 2008
Gangmaster seeks £3.7m libel compensation from newspaper
A Latvian gangmaster has begun a £3.7 million claim for libel against the Guardian newspaper.
Andris Tiltnieks issued the writ in person as a result of an article published in the newspaper on August 15th 2007 entitled "Misery at the bottom of the supermarket supply chain", the Press Gazette reports.
In the feature it was claimed that a group of Bulgarian workers, believed by the Guardian to be employed by Mr Tiltnieks' company, were working illegally as vegetable pickers and packers in sub-par conditions, and had not been paid in 34 days.
The newspaper said the 40 workers were dealing with produce that were to end up on the shelves of Morrisons and Tesco.
Mr Tiltnieks now claims that the story is incorrect as the workers were self-employed and received their wages every 30 days.
The £3.7 million claim seeks recompense for loss of turnover and other tangible and intangible assets as a result of the Guardian's article.