27/01/2014 Inside Out South


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Hello, from Portsmouth. Welcome to Although Hello,


Hello, from Portsmouth. Welcome to Inside Out, more of your stories


from where we live. Here is what is coming up.


Workers complaints about a major Hampshire company, should we take


them with a pinch of salt? We investigate the budgie burglars


who snatched away one man's life 's work.


As HMS Illustrious returns home to Portsmouth, the North and South go


to war over her future. This is Inside Out for the South of


England. First tonight, salt, we get through


terms of this stuff at this time of year making sure drivers stay safe.


When two workers from a major Hampshire supplier approached us


complaining they had been plagued less than the minimum wage `` paid


less than the minimum wage, and working in unsafe conditions, we


thought we would investigate. Every year in Britain we spread up


to 2 million tonnes of salt on our roads. It is what keeps the country


moving when temperatures fall. Here at Southampton Docks we have


certainly got enough in reserve, over 100,000 tonnes of rock salt


already for the next cold snap. The stockpile is run by a company


called Nationwide Gritting Services, NGS. It is clearly visible from the


main road which runs past the docks, but what drivers cannot see the


conditions to Polish employees say they had to work in from


mid`November, 2012, until February last year. The whistle`blowers used


a mobile phone to film those conditions and the equipment they


say regularly gave them an electric shocks. They both want to remain


anonymous because they are worried about losing other jobs, but they


did agree that the company should know their names. TRANSLATION: I


think this was the worst job I have ever done in my life because the


health and safety rules were so often broken. I have never seen such


working conditions and yet you can see my CV is quite long. Some of the


jobs I have done were bad but this one was the worst.


Much of the activity involves packing salt into 25 kilograms


sacks. It is a seasonal job that only happens through the winter.


Inside a shipping container workers funnelled assault and weigh the bags


before sealing them. After working at the company for several weeks the


two employees became so concerned they use their mobile phones to film


this footage. The wires were not properly isolated. There was water


everywhere, and the wires were insecure. There were short`circuits


in the ceiling, we got electric shocks. The working conditions were


awful for any employee. The two former workers say electric shocks


from the machinery wasn't the only problem. We have seen time sheets


which show star for working 12 hour shifts with just half an hour unpaid


break, including Christmas and Boxing Day. They also were working


14 days in a row before having any time off. It is the sort of hard,


dirty job that experts tell us means workers must have somewhere decent


to clean themselves up and take a break.


There was one plastic toilet on the site which we could use, one for 12


people. I don't have to say what it looked like. Especially on windy


days it sometimes rolled over onto the side and was put back place.


There was no running water. No running water, you can see it in the


film. So you couldn't wash yourself after work, could you? After work we


went straight to the minibus, neither cleaned nor changed.


A site like this is never likely to win a beauty contest but is it


dangerous? We show the footage to an inspector with the health and safety


executive for 20 years who now works as a consultant. Now inside the


packing iron and there is some electrical equipment, I cannot say


what faulty jitters, but if it is mains voltage I would be concerned.


`` what voltage it is. Cables are not properly terminating to some of


the junction boxes. There is water dripping through the ceiling, onto


some electrical equipment. If this is the case, then suitable


protection should be provided on the electrical equipment, both in its


design and having a high standard of maintenance.


Concerned about the business `` video Matthew wanted to learn more.


We only got those high visibility jacket and gloves, the gloves were


used up in two days and you only got one per week. That was our equipment


for work when it was only one degree Celcius outside. There was a brief


but it was leaking, there was a fun, what a good get inside easily.


`` there was a roof. There are a number of areas that need attention.


The first one is the electrical systems. They say they received mild


shocks, which clearly should not be the case. Looking at the video, it


needs a thorough inspection by a competent person and if action is


required, that should be taken. It is the sort of company 20 or 30


years ago you might see more of that it is vary rare these days to see


conditions which appear to be as poor as the video shows and from the


information the lads have given me. The conditions that prevail at the


site. The whistle`blowers claim they were


paid ?5 per hour, well below minimum wage. They also claim they didn't


have a contract, and didn't receive any way Chew lips. They threatened


to take the company to an employment trade funeral. `` an employment


tribunal. According to a document from HMRC the amount of income tax


and national insurance the company was paying was for an amount much


smaller. Confused, we showed the evidence to Carl Faulds who has run


a business support firm in Fareham for 14 years. In that time he has


helped many companies with their own payroll arrangements. They claim


they were paid ?5 per hour which was on the under 21 would be below the


minimum wage. Information provided by the Inland Revenue shows they


were paid less than the minimum wage, according to Inland Revenue


document will stop the company produced payslips sometime after the


event, it appears, which shows that he doesn't tally with what the


Inland Revenue have. The documentation is not brilliant, it


should be clearer. The time sheets show the hours worked, they appear


to be consistent. The workers payroll information, according to


the Inland Revenue, seems to support the amount of money they were paid.


The only inconsistency appears to be the payslips produced sometime the


employees left the business, in support of a legal claim. On that


basis, the inconsistencies would tend to support the workers version


of events. Last year we put the workers


allegations to NGS. There has been several months of correspondence.


The programme can be made until we knew the company 's side of the


story. We did send them a detailed list of the workers allegations


concerning safety and pay. Finally the lawyers suggested the workers


could have faked some of the mobile phone footage and said... You can


continue to harass our client. Why do you ask about Polish employees,


said their solicitors, you are being discriminatory quest map we asked


you about Polish employees because they come from Poland. You are a TV


broadcasting company, said the solicitors, and not the arbiter of


health and safety. That is why we got in an expert to look at the


footage. He was so concerned he got in touch with their Health and


Safety Executive. You cannot ask about confidential pay, said our


solicitors. Our client is shocked and disappointed you have. They were


paid less than minimum wage, I will be shocked and disappointed if they


were. Let's be clear, through his lawyers the company denies all the


allegations which they should be too disgruntled former employees. They


say health and safety has visited and is happy with their operation.


We believe that is the case. Although we haven't been allowed on


site to verify whether anything has changed, or needed to change, since


the footage was shot last winter. The Health and Safety Executive


confirm they have visited the say they are unable to comment on


whether changes have been made or two conditions shown. Despite a


flurry of legal letters we are still out a lot as to how much the men


were paid. `` still at a loss. The company maintains it was that


without an employee tribunal. We are confused. But it didn't take place.


The company decided to settle out of court paying each of the men more


than ?3000 with no admission of liability. The company says it paid


up purely for commercial reasons, as it would have cost more to defend


the case in court than pay the settlement. At least there is a


happy ending for one of the men. TRANSLATION: I have a regular job


and better working conditions will stop I don't have to worry I don't


have any gloves or if it is windy. I work in a factory. It is enough for


living now. Don't forget, if you think you have


got a story drop us an e`mail. Imagine you spend a lifetime


perfecting your happy, a hobby which becomes more like a way of life,


then overnight you lose everything `` perfecting your hobby. It sent


one man distraught, and he is not the only one. Budgies are Michael


Freeborn's life. I am really sorry. He's been breeding them for over 50


years and had a prize`winning collection of 400 budgies. That was


until thieves broke into his Avery in Romsey and stole the lot.


They would have been better to shoot me. There's nothing left to get back


for me to do what I used to do. Mick's budgie theft is not an


isolated incident. There've been 30 other similar burglaries over the


last year. His collection was reported to be worth upwards of


?60,000. Aviaries across the South are being


professionally targeted ` leaving budgie enthusiasts like Mick


devastated. They took out the wiring and everything else, and inside


here, we have just got the one lonely lady now. Oh, dear. She's


completely traumatised, as you can see. She is not moving about. Here


is nothing. Normally I what got here just before five in the morning.


I've got the ball had gone, and touch the door and it just came


open. I entered and looked inside that first block of cages, and there


was nothing there. Total shock. They have of this little gone like this.


They're not that off. You said there was blood. Yes. That is put up


first. All the brown stuff is blood. Dried blood. It is heartbreaking. It


is his life. He has been doing this since before I was born. They have


got no idea of the cost to him and the stress and upset it has caused.


It is devastating. This is what he gets up for everyday. It is really


sad. Why do it? They might as Alder shoot me. There is nothing else left


to do. At the Budgie World Championships


competitors have gathered to show off their exhibition birds in the


hope they'll win Best in Show. Decades of selective breeding have


gone into producing what's considered to be the best looking


birds in the business. So these are highly desirable budgies.


Now you might not think these warning owners to beware. Police are


warning owners to be worth. John Hayward runs the National theft


register for stolen birds. This is organised crime. If our professional


fees. `` these are professional fees. I think these are being taken


because they are top exhibition birds. They are being taken to be


sold into, I suspect, the European or international illegal trade for


breeding purposes. The recent outbreak of raids on


aviaries has ruffled some feathers and put breeders on edge. Every


knock of bank outside, I find myself jumping out of bed and checking to


see if it is someone trying to breaking. We have put up security


cameras. Life have come on. `` lights have come on. If they want to


get in, they will get in. If thieves break into a knavery in the dead of


night and kidnapped is lovely creatures and bundled them away,


chances are, they will not survive the trial, being taken in this way


`` if thieves break into an aviary. They took the lot. There were cages


on the floor, carry cages. They shoved all 66 birds in this week 's


chart. Gray Targett from Eastleigh had all


of his birds snatched and fears none of them would have survived. It is


heartbreaking. Gray had recently been diagnosed


with cancer and says his birds provided him with a way of coping


with his treatment. It has destroyed me. It has taken my only bit of


enjoyment away. Nigel Darley from Tadley has been


breeding birds for more than 55 years. He too is another victim of


bird thieves ` and been forced to spend hundreds on security. I have


got a camera and CCTV system, which covers all corners of the garden.


This was under police advice. So do breeders like Nigel need to


protect their birds more carefully? They cut through the hedge with


garden tools, and cut through the two layers of wire. It is an instant


numbness. It is like a dream that is like a dream that has gone into slow


motion. I know it has. You realise something has gone. You would like


to closure eyes, open and firemen still there. It does sound


melodramatic but it's as part of the family has gone. You have got a


reason to get up in the morning, to feed your birds, look after your


bags. `` after your birds. Oh, my goodness me. That is the baby. It is


one`day`old. That is what it came out of. One of those.


Do breeders and owners need to realise what is going on and take


better security measures? Absolutely. We are incessantly


reminding bird keepers of all types, especially those of species


which are vulnerable, that crime prevention is the only answer.


But that message has come too late for Michael Freeborn. Four weeks on


from the break`in, there's still been no sightings of his prized


birds. It's only now that he feels ready to start his hobby all over


again. Michael's re`visiting the Budgie


World Championships where's he's receiving plenty of moral support


from good friends and old rivals. When we saw you, you'll have had the


wind well and truly not out of your sails. I picked myself up, and I


decided I am going to get some more birds. Fantastic. The ultimate aim


is to win this. You can still do it. I can still do it.


Police tell is, as of yet, none of those stolen birds have been


recovered. We are on twitter, by the way. Finally, we are in Portsmouth


because of this grand old lady. HMS illustrious. Built in 1982. She is


due to go out of service later this year. What happens to her when she


does? Chris Jackson has the story. From the Falklands to the


Philippines, she is one of the Royal Navy's most famous ships. Now HMS


Illustrious is due to be decommissioned and three of


Britain's most famous ports are bidding to provide her final resting


place. Portsmouth Hull and Tyneside have entered a race to secure the


navy's last aircraft carrier. We are the home of the British Navy,


anyway. I will dedicate whatever time and energy is necessary to make


it a success. We have an opportunity.


Illustrious has always been close to the nations' heart. Argentina has


invaded the Falklands. Fighting a war 8,000 miles away


meant Britain needed every ship in the fleet. But Illustrious, launched


by Princess Margaret a couple of years earlier, wasn't finished.


Could she be made ready for sea in half the normal delivery time? That


question was answered after a series of crisis meetings. Yes, it could be


done, but hundreds of tradesmen would have to work around the


clock. They did not hesitate. Soon as I saw them, I knew they were


intent on making a success of this. I think of the wonderful work that


went on to achieve this against the odds.


But the pace quickened even further when this ship became one of the


first casualties of the war. HMS Sheffield was hit by a missile. It


was really traumatic. Many others were upset. We wanted to do what


ever we could to help. `` many of us were Roxette. We could do was get


finished. So deadlines were set and beaten and Illustrious was ready for


sea. It is a milestone for the Royal Navy. It is a milestone for the


United Kingdom. It is an extremely important milestone for the


Alliance. Well done, and thank you very much indeed. The scenes as


Illustrious sailed down river were unprecedented. The emotions was


extraordinarily. We have thousands of people here. Tyneside fell for


this shift. When we sailed down the river, there were so many people


mining the banks. We have been given exclusive access


to the personal records of Admiral Sir Jock slater who later became


First Sea Lord. At his home in Hampshire, he showed his scrapbooks


and home movie of that time. It includes some lighter moments on the


voyage south such as crossing the Equator and its age`old ceremony.


Captain Slater, we welcome you here. We trust you will joiners in a


jug of beer. There was also a drama when this


sailor who had been playing in goal in a flight deck football match had


to be rescued. I think you thought he was got's gift to the England


football team. This was the moment when Illustrious


steamed past HMS Invincible to salute the ship she was relieving.


The war had been run before Illustrious reached the Falkland's


patrolling the islands and guarding against further possible attack. We


did not know what the threat was going to rain. `` what the threat


was going to be. This was just the beginning of a


32`year career which placed Illustrious in harm's way at


virtually every major theatre of conflict since then. But this is


where history meets controversy. The Ministry of Defence has been under


fire in recent years for allowing the break`up of famous ships often


abroad as filmed by including this filmed by Inside Out in Pakistan.


Now, she could be saved. The MoD `` bidders have to put in an expression


of interest. There is then an inspection phase, which will kick


off in a fortnight's time. Then we will hear the proposals. We have


lined up the contenders. I'm certain everybody in this region will be


behind a bit like that. The ship like that can be the centrepiece of


a maritime attraction. It will raise the profile of the city. I am


delighted the old girl is potentially coming up to Yorkshire


to be with me again. The city is crying out for conference facility.


This would give is the opportunity to use part of the ship for that. It


would not like any other conference centre.


Each of the contenders will have to find a birth, maybe a dry dock to


locate the ship, money we understand tens of millions of pounds and a


link with other maritime developments such as housing or


shops. `` berth. In Portsmouth, there's huge confidence. We have


been speaking about the safety of the ship. That is a big


consideration. We have the expertise in shipbuilding. We will have the


people that control. Everyone is keeping details of the


final bids close to their chests while the bidding process goes on. A


decision should be made later this year.


You never know, there could one day be one more historic ship here in


Portsmouth. That is it for now. Don't forget the e`mail. See you


next week. Next time, if you thought the flood stories were over for this


year, try telling that to these people. And how an ordinary care how


is now on Interpol's most wanted list. Give yourself in.


Jude Law has given evidence at the phone hacking trial. The court heard


a family member had sold stories about him. A former reporter said he


discussed intercepting phone calls between two


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