They are to replace existing workers at a deportation centre.
4th April 2011: Inmates are expected to replace the existing workers at a deportation centre.
As the workers are to be shown the door, the inmates are expected to be paid just £1 an hour.
Privately-run Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre is considered the biggest deportation unit in Europe. As of now, it accommodates 615 inmates. The original contractors Kalyx were replaced in 2009 by the American private security company GEO Group.
According to the new scheme, as many as 20 full-time kitchen workers, earning £300 a week, will turn surplus. The unit houses failed asylum seekers and foreign prisoners awaiting deportation from the UK.
As the scheme gets going, the inmates at Harmondsworth, near London’s Heathrow airport, will pocket much less than £5.93-an-hour national minimum wage.
Reacting, a worker at the unit described it as disgrace, and questioned where would the 20 sacked staff be employed?
Acting Chief Executive of the Home Office’s UK Border Agency Jonathan Sedgwick said detainees working in cleaning and catering roles is common in our detention centres.
It allows them to keep detainees occupied while arrangements are made to return them. This is nothing new and has been praised by HM Inspector of Prisons and independent monitoring boards."