THIS WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS
|Migrant workers - jobs on the land but at what price?|
For some they are the backbone of the economy but for others they
are a threat. Inside Out investigates the growing number of migrant workers in
the East Midlands.
There's an influx of a new type of foreign worker
who has come to the region to make a living.
Young, highly educated
women are leaving their families behind to come to Lincolnshire's towns and villages
to earn money for a better life.
Yet they aren't welcomed by everyone.
But what is the reality? How do the new migrants live?
one farmer who has spent £2m building accommodation complete with a sports
centre, and runs it like a boarding school, to keep his workers happy.
lives in Lincolnshire
Elena and Darshute have new lives in
the Lincolnshire market town of Boston.
Both are part of the new wave of
migrants coming to the county from Eastern Europe.
|"I can earn more money in one week here than I can earn
in months in Latvia."|
|Alona, migrant worker|
Darshute has come to England in search of work.
no jobs where I come from," she says.
Alona left her home in Latvia
two years ago. She's got a degree in law and economics, but was prepared to come
over here to work on the land.
Darshute tells the same story - in Lithuania
she worked as the deputy head of social services.
But with monthly wages
of £100 and a worsening economy, she and her husband paid to come to Lincolnshire
to try for a better life.
Many migrant workers are subject to such levels of exploitation and control
that they meet the international legal definition of 'forced labour'.
is believed that there could be 3,000 rogue gangmasters operating nationwide.
sectors with high numbers of migrant workers include construction, hospitality,
agriculture, food processing, horticulture, contract cleaning, nursing and care
There have been several fatalities involving migrant workers employed
in the UK.
In one notable incident more than 20 Chinese workers died
picking cockles in Morecambe Bay.
Workplace deaths in the UK are
increasing and there is a danger that we could soon start to see more fatalities
and serious injuries at work as language barriers mean safety messages are going
over workers' heads.
Employers have a duty under the Health and Safety at
Work Act to provide all their employees with the appropriate safety training to
enable them to do their jobs without risk of illness or injury.
the TUC found that safety training delivered in English was not being sufficiently
well understood by migrant workers. This prompted the Health and Safety Executive
(HSE) and the TUC to publish a new safety leaflet for employers translated into
19 different languages.
on the land
Some commentators call this form of work ''cowboy capitalism'.
many agencies and trade unions believe that migrant workers are among the most
vulnerable of all workers.
A recent TUC report reveals a number of problems
for migrant workers including:
- very long hours
- pay below minimum
- dangerous working conditions
In their defence, employers
say foreign workers are filling the jobs that local people just don't want.
are 70,000 agricultural workers who are thought to be foreign nationals in Lincolnshire.
used to be seasonal work is now year-round, fuelled by consumers and supermarkets
wanting fresh vegetables 24 hours a day, 12 months a year.
But this explosion
in the workforce has put extreme pressure on accommodation and led to some unscrupulous
gangmasters exploiting desperate foreign workers.
The influx started with
Portuguese workers arriving, but now Eastern Europe is becoming the favoured recruiting
But what happens when it all goes wrong?
Inside Out visits
Boston's only drop-in centre for homeless people which has been left to pick up
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