posted on Feb, 18 2004 @ 06:18 PM
The following article reflects the horror of what the cocklers went through as they died. Some of us take so much for granted.The death of these
immigrants is very sad, and the link provided is a real reflection on the tragedy of the situation.
"After Morecambe Bay"
by Josie Appleton
The tragic drowning of 19 cocklers in Morecambe Bay, all Chinese immigrants working at night in treacherous conditions, has sparked horror throughout
Rather than the tragedy being discussed in relation to current immigration and labour law, commentators have painted a picture of an almost Dickensian
underworld, where workers eke out a living under the shadow of their 'gangmasters'. This has been taken as archetypal of the kind of shadow economy
that exists across Britain, in industries such as food-packaging, fruit-picking and gardening.
Reports of the Morecambe Bay deaths detailed the awfulness of the events. Long articles went into the immigrants' last moments - the way in which
they were trapped, struggled for their lives and then succumbed to the rising waves. 'They never stood a chance', reported the London Evening
Standard. 'Terrified and weak, some stripped naked in a desperate bid to keep their heads above waterÖ Within minutes they were snatched by the
rapidly rising tide and forced to tread water until they could hold out no more.' (1) Reports about the immigrants' housing had a similar tone -
'40 cockle slaves in one house', read a Sun headline. We were told that the immigrants slept two abreast on bare mattresses; that they worked in
shifts, coming and going all night.
[Edited on 19-2-2004 by Kano]