Monday 11 June 2012

More protests planned at Close Protection UK – Jubilee Steward workfare crooks

On Saturday a small but lively group of protesters took to the streets of Hindley, Wigan to raise awareness concerning Close Protection UK, the company at the centre of the working conditions of unpaid stewards during the Jubilee celebrations in London.

A number of young unemployed people were bussed to London with the promise of a wage for the weekend. When they arrived they were told they would not be paid for the work and if they refused they would not be considered for work during the Olympics. The stewards were told they had to sleep under a bridge, made to change into their uniform in the open air and were without toilet facilities for over 24 hours.

Close Protection UK and company director Molly Prince came under scrutiny after a number of  stewards on work experience  complained about the working conditions and the lies that they had been told regarding the stewarding being paid work .

Further investigation unearthed Prince’s murky business and criminal history. Charged with Perverting the course of justice in 1994 and having 5 companies ‘struck off’ by Companies House using powers under the Companies Act for failing to submit accounts for any of the 5 companies.

CPUK has landed the £850,000 fire marshall contract for the Olympics despite sources claiming that the Olympic body tasked with awarding contracts, LOCOG would have to be convinced that CPUK had a balance of at least £700,000. When the company last accounts were submitted there was a balance of £1317 .

It is perhaps unsurprising there seems to be unhand dealings happening considering that the boss of the charity, Tomorrow’s People,  that refers jobseekers to CPUK is Conservative Peer Baroness Scott. Both Scott and Tomorrow’s People have been investigated by the Charity Commission for breaching rules regarding political activities, with their links to the Conservative Party. Perhaps this explains somewhat why the Government is so keen to brush this scandal under the carpet – “This is a one off-This is an isolated incident. The company has apologised”.

The protest attracted the attention of residents, shoppers and passing vehicles. Virtually everyone had read of the Close Protection UK scandal but most did not realise the HQ was in their town. Although the premises were closed it was felt it was important to keep CPUK in the public consciousness.

Considering so many people were asking to become involved in the campaign another protest has been organised for later this week, this time during office hours to target Close Protection UK .

Trade Unionists, local Councillors and residents have all pledged their support.

Protest outside Close Protection UK HQ

Wednesday 13th June, 5pm, 15 King Street, Hindley, Wigan, WN2 3AW



  1. Katrina Lawrie said:

    The next protest against Close Protection UK is
    Wednesday 13th June 4.30pm
    Close Protection UK
    15 King Street ( just of Market Street)
    WN2 3AW

    We urge everyone to try and make the protest.

    11 June 2012 at 10:46am
  2. Dave said:

    This is from the TUC Risks health and safety mailing:

    Unpaid labour firm in minibus smash

    The security company at the centre of a row about its treatment of unpaid workers has faced fresh questions after a minibus carrying 15 of its stewards overturned on a motorway and its driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving. The Independent reports that Close Protection UK Ltd, which apologised after unpaid stewards employed on a £500,000 contract for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations were forced to sleep under London Bridge in abysmal weather, confirmed that all the people on board the vehicle were its employees and that one man had suffered an open fracture of the hand. The minibus, which was taking the group to Weymouth, overturned on the M40 near the Oxfordshire-Warwickshire border at about 3.15pm on 9 June, forcing the closure of the motorway while ambulances ferried all 16 CPUK workers to six different hospitals. The bus, the only vehicle involved, came to rest on its side. In a statement to The Independent, released through publicist Max Clifford, CPUK founder Molly Prince said the seriousness of the motorway crash had initially been unclear. ‘When we heard there had been an incident, we had no idea of the severity… Once the extent of the accident was explained and understood, there was absolutely no question of any of [the stewards] continuing to their event.’ The company has received a contract reported to be worth £850,000 to provide fire marshals for the London Olympics.

    16 June 2012 at 9:11am

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