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Carnival Guest Workers Win Back Wages, Better Living Conditions

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:13 PM
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Carnival Guest Workers Win Back Wages, Better Living Conditions /

(Photo courtesy

Tuesday September 15 1:30 pm

A recent settlement between Dreamland Amusements and its workers aims to send a message to carnival operators: exploitation of foreign-born or other workers will not go unnoticed or unpunished.

Its a case that highlights the terrible conditions that some H2B (temporary work visa) program workers face, including psychological abuse, terrible living conditions and loss of wages. Because of their precarious legal status, they are often unable to fight back.

But in a recent victory for guest laborers, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo ordered Dreamland to pay $325,000 in back wages, improve the substandard living conditions in which its workers were forced to live, and require managers to undergo anti-discrimination training.

Under the agreement, which was announced at the end of August, the company must reform its employment practices and submit to monitoring and unannounced visits to its job sites.

A subsequent probe found that the workers on visas were denied minimum wages and overtime while working as much as 70 hours per week. They were forced to live in cramped, bug-infested trailers while other workers who were not on visas received preferential living quarters.

Cuomo said:

This company not only denied its employees the pay they had earned - but abused and manipulated a system in place to help foreign-born workers build lives for themselves and their families. ... Today's agreement will deliver welcome restitution to the workers who were cheated, as well as send a message to other employers statewide that abuses of their employees come with a price tag.

FULL story at link.

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