Radio presenter Nick Ferrari clashes on air over Byron Burgers’ heavy-handed approach to immigration
The restaurant chain, Byron Burgers, caused controversy after they invited workers to a health and safety meeting, which then led to them being questioned by Home Office officials.
Members of staff from Albania, Brazil, Egypt and Nepal were kept back and now face exportation. Confirmation from the Home Office says that 35 people in total, from all four countries, were rounded up during the raid.
Social media websites have cursed the burger restaurant chain, after supposedly colluding with the Home Office to arrest and detain a number of its migrant workers at the beginning of August, in an effort to prevent being fined £700,000.
The raid has given rise to protests outside Byron Burger restaurants, with one protest group setting free, locusts and cockroaches into the restaurant’s kitchen.
The protester, Petros Elia, phoned into Nick Ferrari’s live LBC show and said that Byron Burgers’ behaviour was ‘disgusting’ and that they had ‘ruined the lives’ of the workers.
During the interview, Mr Elia proclaimed that Byron had “entrapped their employees and destroyed the lives of dozens or workers”.
However, when Mr Ferrari, who confessed that he sympathised with the workers over the ‘aggressive approach’ taken by Byron Burgers, attempted to point out to the caller that the staff were working illegally, Mr Elia refused to answer the question.
Ferrari carried on trying to push Mr Elia into a response, saying: “You would want to crack down on illegal workers, wouldn’t you?”
Mr Elia still refused to acknowledge that the members of staff were working in the country illegally and replied: “I support every human being, being treated with dignity and respect.”
Ferrari then responded with: “No no no, I answered your question, so perhaps you’d be kind enough to answer mine.”
Mr Ferrari asked Mr Elia whether he agreed that if people working here were found to be working illegally, they should be investigated and if need be, deported.
Ferrari went on to say that this was what Byron Burger’s were doing but that they had done it in a clumsy and ugly way.
At the sixth time of being asked, Mr Elia still did not answer the question.
After turning down the volume on Mr Elia’s voice, Nick Ferrari wrapped it up, saying: “If they’re here illegally, they’ll have to go.”
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Public outcry as BBC accepts only ethnic minority applications for internship
The BBC is facing criticism after advertising for an internship position for which only “black, Asian and non-white ethnic minority” applicants would be considered, despite the BBC already employing an ethnically diverse workforce which meets the required representation as set out by the UK government.
The BBC, funded by UK taxpayers, has been accused of “positive discrimination in the workplace”, as according to the BBC’s own Diversity and Inclusion Strategy report for 2016 – 2020, the corporation is already employing 13.4 per cent black, Asian and ethnic minority employees, which is “above the census and workforce ratios”.
Critics have expressed their disapproval and have questioned why the BBC needs to employ an “under-represented” employee to the exclusion of white people when the workforce ratio is already in favour of ethnic minorities compared with the population ratios.
The BBC internship was posted online by employment agency Creative Access, which focuses on finding internships for black, Asian and ethnic minorities.
Omer Simjee, an employment law specialist at Irwin Mitchell LLP, said that, under the Equality Act 2010, a white person could take the matter to an Employment Tribunal, but that the job advertisement could also be considered a “potentially legitimate form of positive discrimination”.
In response to the criticism, a BBC spokesperson said that, although the corporation’s workforce “reflects the population of the country”, some “people from BAME backgrounds are under-represented in a number of crucial areas”.
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