A report on the poor working conditions many seasonal Irish potato pickers face on the west coast of Scotland.

Part of a long tradition of Irish labour in Scottish fields.

A long tradition of seasonal migration exists from rural locations in Ireland to the lowlands of Scotland to work as potato pickers. 'Tattie-Hokers' is the name given in Scotland to the people who pick potatoes and is used specifically to describe Irish potato pickers.

Ted Nealon meets some of the young migrant workers who describe the poor working and living conditions endured by the Irish and the mistreatment they receive. One  worker Martin Maughan claims his brother and sister are enslaved to a potato contractor. Martin says he is aware of many workers being held captive. 

The work is tough and dirty but for picking potatoes hands are still better than machines. Best of all Irish hands. That's the labour the Scottish farmer has always wanted.

While the majority of employers are reasonable, others are accused of vicious exploitation.

A 'Seven Days' report by Ted Nealon broadcast on 25 June 1971.