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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:07 PM
Original message
Indian workers at US shipyard allege slave treatment
Source: Rediff India/PTI

March 08, 2008 14:01 IST

Over 100 Indian workers have quit their jobs at a Mississippi shipyard protesting alleged 'slave treatment' by their employer after being 'tricked' into coming to the US and are demanding a probe against the firm, which faced similar accusations last year.

The workers, mostly welders and pipe-fitters, alleged they lived 'like pigs in a cage' in a 'work camp' run by Signal International in Pascagoula shipyard.

Signal forced them to live in substandard housing with 24 men crammed into a small room, for which they were charged more than $ 1,000 a month, the workers claimed.

The Indians symbolically threw their hard hats at the company gates as they walked out alleging that it had brought them to the US by promising permanent residency in exchange for $ 20,000 fee. Instead they said they were given 10-month work visa.



Read more: http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/mar/08slave.htm
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. There are BIG probs in MS with immigrants. nt
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I live a few towns west of Pascagoula down here on the coast. We got a lot of migrant workers.
There was a huge influx of migrant workers after Katrina for construction jobs and clean-up jobs. The firms that hired them--I dunno if they really cared if they were documented or not. With most of the clean-up done, though, a lot of them have moved on to other areas or moved west into Louisiana. In other news, the reconstruction is uneven. Only the big business interests and the rich are rebuilding quickly. Working class neighborhoods are still largely abandoned.
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The MS shipyard story made it into news last year ...
April 13, 2007

Human trafficking of Indian guest workers alleged in Mississippi shipyard; Contractor defends 290-man camp

Paid $18.50 an hour, but living twenty to a trailer and fighting for spoons

A month ago Monday, a group of guest workers from India placed a frantic 3:00 am phone call to Saket Soni, lead organizer for the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice. The workers said that armed security guards were holding some workers prisoner in the TV room of the Signal International Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, where the company's 290 welders and pipe fitters live.

...

Signal says they detained the guest workers at the advice of US immigration officials, in an attempt to forcibly deport them following a labor dispute. Though the workers were later released into the custody of community groups, the incident has shed light on a longstanding immigration problem the vulnerability of guest workers who travel to the United States on H-2B visas, and their exploitation at the hands of so-called recruiters and the companies they work for.

Raw Story
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. This company was posted about a year ago
and it's not the only one that does it or gets in trouble for it. This is why 'guest worker' is such an awful idea.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. And it's why business interests are pushing harder and harder for more work visas of that sort.
Those and H1B visas.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
6. K&R

To think a company in the US would not be good to it's employees.

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. Meanwhile, what is going on in old, East coast shipyards?
Last I heard, they were closing and people were being laid off.
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Hobarticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Betcha the ships still cost the same to build, material-wise....
....but the savings in labor is going right in the pockets of the shipyard owners and investors.

Ah yes, Reagan's beloved "invisible hand of the market place", still choking the shit out of the labor class.
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Arctic Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
8. Now why in the hell would you
need to hire Indian welders and pipe fitters. Its not like this requires a degree to do this. A simple work program and we could train our own welders and fitters here in a couple of months. This is just another way of under minding the middle class and unions by flooding the workforce with cheap, slave labor.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-10-08 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. i agree, there is no need to import workers for this beyond exploitation
of workers here and workers from india
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