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The Cockle Pickers- The Rest Of The Story

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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 Britain.

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 water… 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]

posted on Feb, 19 2004 @ 03:30 AM

Suffering was blamed on the 'evil gangmasters' who kept the workers in these conditions, tough-looking white men who 'had Liverpool accents and circled the workers all the time', earned £20,000 a day and drove around in smart cars while paying their workers as little as £1 a day (2). Julia Hodson, assistant chief constable of Lancashire, described gang bosses who benefited from the labour of illegal immigrants as 'criminals of the worst possible kind'; the police have now arrested some of the organisers on suspicion of manslaughter

Yea...I agree...their deaths are sad...

It's good that they have arrested some of the organisers on suspicion of manslaughter...

[Edited on 19-2-2004 by Yoda]

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