Browse content similar to 27/01/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
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