Posts Tagged ‘documents’

H-2B Visa Program Report: Leveling the Playing Field

Leveling the Playing Field: Reforming the H-2B Program to Protect Guestworkers and U.S. Workers, a report released by the NGA in June 2012, details how employers have turned the H-2B visa program into the “ultimate tool” for undercutting U.S. workers and exploiting low-wage guestworkers, while corporate lobbyists block Department of Labor reforms that would level the playing field.

The report highlights cases of exploitation from Texas to Tennessee, and calls for four indispensable reforms that would end employer abuse and protect both guestworkers and U.S. workers:

  • Guaranteeing guestworkers the right to organize without fear of retaliation;
  • Prohibiting employers from using guestworkers as cheap, exploitable alternatives to U.S. workers;
  • Eliminating debt servitude and other elements of human trafficking in the program; and
  • Subjecting employers to meaningful government enforcement and community oversight.

The report was authored by the Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights on behalf of the NGA. It is available for download here.

OSHA citations against Hershey’s subcontractors Exel and SHS

On Feb. 21, 2012, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited and penalized Hershey’s subcontractors Exel and SHS for violations of federal safety and health law at the Hershey’s chocolate packing plant in Palmyra, PA.

The OSHA investigation began after hundreds of student guestworker members of the NGA went on strike from the plant in August 2011 to expose brutal conditions, sub-minimum wage pay, and threats and retaliation by supervisors and labor recruiters.

On Hostile Ground, America’s Guestworkers Seek Justice – In These Times – 2/15/12

On Hostile Ground, America’s Guestworkers Seek Justice

By Michelle Chen

The debate around immigration in Washington brings the same smoke and mirrors each election cycle: anti-immigrant slogans about “securing the border” flashing alongside craftily worded policies to sustain the flow of cheap labor, legal or not. Politicians seem to want it both ways: keeping immigrants locked into a brutal underground workforce, while using mass deportation and constant abuse to exclude them from society.

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Culture Exchange Program Clashes with Students’ Expectation – People’s Daily Online – 2/15/12

Culture exchange program clashes with students’ expectation

By Joanna Law

Many young students in China want an opportunity to go abroad. Most of them like to visit the United States, where they get to see places they have seen from Hollywood movies, experience different cultures, and learn English. The U.S. government has set up a program which, for years, has been an attraction for foreign students to stay and work in the country temporarily. But there is a risk: The students may become cheap labor before they know it.

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Justice at Hershey’s – Human rights report – 9/2011

Over the Labor Day weekend, a commission of by six leading human rights scholars from five U.S. universities released the results of an independent investigation into exploitation of J-1 student workers at Hershey’s packing plant (download key excerpts or the full report).

The report includes:

  • Evidence of “a widespread coercive campaign” by Hershey’s subcontractors to intimidate students who organized for basic human and labor rights;
  • Details of “potential legal violations, including discrimination, forced labor, substandard conditions of work, wage theft, and infringement on associational rights”; and
  • A recommendation that the State Department suspend the ability of sponsoring agency CETUSA to issue J-1 visas.

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