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The UK government is being encouraged to take action on a legal loophole that is currently being exploited by shipping companies.
According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), businesses are able to discriminate against foreign employees, offering them wages as low as £2 an hour.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "If it doesn't act, ministers could be taken to court by the EU and run the risk of the country being fined millions of euros at a time when the public finances are under great strain."
He added that the coalition should do what is right and put a stop to poverty wages, despite the threat from shipping owners that a change in the law would provoke them into registering their boats with other countries.
Last week, Mr Barber said the number of unemployed people in the UK is a result of society being unable to provide enough job opportunities for those who need them.
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