Guest Workers in U.S. Keep Up Fight for Their Rights

December 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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Posted By James Parks On December 16, 2010 @ 4:21 pm In In the States, Legislation & Politics | 8 Comments

Photo credit: Joe Kekeris  
  Indian workers from the Signal International shipyard rallied in front of the White House in 2008.  

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, thousands of guest workers with H-2B visas were recruited from Latin America and Asia and brought to the Gulf Coast on the false promise of steady jobs, fair pay, great conditions and even permanent legal status. Many of the workers paid thousands of dollars each to recruiters to buy what they thought was an American dream, only to find out later their dream was a nightmare filled with terrible work conditions and no protections.

The workers fought back, and today have rung up some significant achievements. They now plan to build on their victories by focusing on organizing and political action to expand the rights of guest workers. The H-2B workers are recruited for jobs after employers certify that they cannot find U.S. citizens to do the work. The guest workers are then bound to that one employer and cannot move to another job if they are mistreated.  

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