I came across this book while I was looking for books on Chinatown at work. I started reading the first few pages and got sucked it. It is a journalistic account of the lives of different illegal immigrants in England. Each chapter tells a different story about someone working in a different industry, farms, factories, Chinese restaurants, brothels, selling illegal dvds. It was written in 2007 and it's just appaling to read and know that this is going on. People seem to be aware of the terrible wages and conditions of people working in China but I don't think many people realise that it's going on here too. People paying tens of thousands of pounds to get here, then working 12 hour shifts 6 days a week and making £130 a week, living in tiny accomadation (which they have to pay 24-40 a week) and barely having enough food. I'm afraid I just can't accept the excuse that "well their here illegaly so they shouldn't be treated well" argument. These are humans trying to suport their families. They are working for companies that we use, all the major grocery stores were mentioned. It made me never want to eat in Chinatown again having read how they treat their employees. There was a brothel mentioned in Archway and I wondered if it was that "Thai massage" place down the road from us. It was such an eyeopening book.
I remember a few years ago watching the amazing film about the cocklers at Morecambe Bay. Called Ghosts http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghosts-DVD-Ai-Qin-Lin/dp/B000MR8SX2/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1329648756&sr=1-1 this book was like that but more so. I want to know what's changed in the past 5 years. I checked amazon and saw that the author has a new book out this summer about Chinese migrant labour, both in China and abroad. Which I will definitely have to read.
Everyone should read this book....Continua