KCC investigate claims of Polish workers been underpaid

Officials at KCC say they are investigating claims that Polish workers working on a council housing scheme are being paid as little as 5 euro an hour. The matter was highlighted by Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Toireasa Ferris who said that she believes that up to 40 workers may be affected. She has also called on the council to put guidelines in place that will ensure that such exploitation cannot take place on council developments.Mayor Ferris said that she had been approached by a number of Polish workers in the Tralee area, claiming that they were being exploited while working on a Kerry County Council housing project and on other sites in the county. She said that while she had no reason to believe that the Council or the private contractors in charge of the developments were aware of the situation, they still have ultimate responsibility for ensuring the workers rights are protected.Mayor Ferris said that she has approached the contractors at the sites involved, and that they confirmed that while a number of Polish workers are employed, they are not paid directly by them, but by a Polish agent. She called on the Council and the Labour Inspectorate to launch an immediate investigation into the claims, and said that if they prove correct she will be taking the matter to Gardai.