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Wed Mar 6, 2013, 11:18 AM

McDonalds Guest Workers Stage Surprise Strike [View all]

Source: The Nation

Josh Eidelson

Alleging unpaid wages and repeated retaliation, McDonalds workers in central Pennsylvania launched a surprise strike at 11 AM this morning. The strikers are student guest workers from Latin America and Asia, brought to the United States under the controversial J-1 cultural exchange visa program. Their employer is one of the thousands of McDonalds franchisees with whom the company contracts to run its ubiquitous stores.

“We are afraid,” striker Jorge Victor Rios told The Nation prior to the work stoppage. “But we are trying to overcome our fear.”

The McDonalds corporation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The J-1 visa program is officially intended to promote educational and cultural exchange. But advocates allege that J-1, like the other guest worker programs that collectively bring hundreds of thousands of workers in and out of the United States each year, is rife with abuse. The National Guestworker Alliance, the organization spearheading today’s strike, charges that such programs—whose future is intimately tied up with the fate of comprehensive immigration reform—offer ample opportunities for employers to intimidate workers, suppress organizing, and drive down labor standards.

FULL story at link.

Read more: http://www.thenation.com/blog/173217/mcdonalds-guest-workers-stage-surprise-strike#

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Omaha Steve Mar 2013 OP
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