Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:41 PM
Starry Messenger (29,145 posts)
Remember those stories after Katrina of Filipino workers being recruited to LA?
Filipinos lured into "slavery" in Louisiana
CHICAGO - "Their story of enslavement and their escape started in the slums of Manila. Sleazy 'recruiters' scoured the streets and lured the workers here with assurances of plenty of money, a status job and U.S. citizenship, but when they got here they became indentured servants to a big profit-hungry corporation."
That description of how 17 workers who recently escaped modern-day slavery in Louisiana came to the U.S. in the first place, came today from the Rev. Primo Racimo, the priest-in-charge at St. Margaret of Scotland's Episcopal Church on this city's South Side. Fr. Racimo, himself an immigrant from the Philippines, said that "people of good will everywhere should be supporting demonstrations taking place in New Orleans from Feb. 22 to 24. We must show that America will not stand for indentured servitude," he said.
The 17 who recently escaped were locked into crammed quarters, six to a room, in company dormitories surrounded by barbed wire fences. "When we got there the company took away our passports, trapping us. If anyone dared protest he was sent back to the Philippines immediately. People spent a lot of their hard-earned money to get here and wanted to send back help to families waiting in the Philippines," said Rodelio Maligo, one of the escapees.
Last November an explosion at the Black Elk facility in Louisiana, in which three Filipino workers were killed on a poorly-built oil platform, helped trigger a lawsuit by workers against Grand Isle. The lawsuit charged slavery, trafficking, discrimination, fraud and theft of millions of dollars in wages from Filipino workers who were forced to labor six to seven days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day with no overtime pay. They were paid only $5.00 an hour and forced to work four months offshore with no rest. American workers have two weeks offshore and then return to shore for rest. Fifty other workers have joined the original 17 in the lawsuit.
2 replies, 922 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Remember those stories after Katrina of Filipino workers being recruited to LA? (Original post)
|Starry Messenger||Feb 2013||OP|
Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)
Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:33 PM
Scuba (50,544 posts)
2. Republican utopia ...
The workers were charged $1,000 to $3,000 per month for a bunk bed in a 10 by 10 foot room in which six workers were forced to live. They were never allowed to leave the bunkhouses and were watched by camera.
They were prohibited from talking to American workers and they were not allowed to ride in the cars of American co-workers.
The only trip off the premises allowed was a one-hour per week escorted trip to a local Walmart. Catholics were not allowed to attend mass even on Christmas Day.
The company took $1,000 a month out of the workers' paychecks for "taxes," but these taxes do not appear to have been paid by the company to the IRS or the State of Louisiana. "We ended up making only one dollar or two an hour," said Maligo.