|| posted on 1-12-2007 at 22:38
|[Technically, one would say "plaintiff" rather than "prosecution" with respect to the encounter, because it was before the government gotinvolved.]
The company lawyer had all the resources the company might hire.
The lawyer representing the Indians had very little resources. He said on the program he was barely able to come up with the $200 filing fee (to get
the case scheduled). He remembers Kinko's (a copy and print shop) called him to pick up copies of material he had ordered, totalling $500, and he
couldn't do it because he didn't have that much money.
|| posted on 1-12-2007 at 22:11
|Did anyone see the Channel 4 Drama "Ghosts" recently? It was a drama done like a "fly on the wall" without any commentry.
Simply, it was the story of the Chinese Cockle Pickers who died one night at Morcambe Bay. It was mostly in Chinese with subtitles and the dialogue
had been recalled by the only survivor.
I don't often cry at anything I see on TV, but I did that evening.
About the John Pickle case...
Interesting, that the company lawyer, a professional, could use such agressive language when the case was brought. A Lawyer can choose to defend
anyone they believe to be innocent, but what does it say about this one that he (I say he, could be a She) makes such threats to the prosecution?
It says to me, that this Lawyer is getting paid a helluva lot!
|| posted on 1-12-2007 at 21:42
|I don't remember the program saying anything about that. I notice that the wiki article says the company is based in Oklahoma (US), but the only
factory now making parts is in Kuwait.
The program said Mr. Pickle actually thought he was a benefactor to the Indians. He thought of them as starving people in a helpless, jobless
situation. Anything above a handful of rice a day would be improvement for them, in his mind.
Sadly, there are countries were famine, sometimes coupled with government corruption and violence, have left people who would rather live under his
enslavement than starve in their own land. But the educated men whom he enticed from India were not in that situation.
I don't think most companies are led by people like John Pickle. I have heard that some illegal workers in the agriculture industry are exploited.
I've also heard that worker-visa people are sometimes exploited because working is a condition of their visas. If they complain about working
conditions and are fired, they have to find another job quickly because it is a condition of them staying in the US. But, if they were fired because
they would not accept what the boss dictated, other bosses are not so likely to be willing to hire them. Remember, these are not people who expected
to stay here as illegal workers--they pay taxes, are listed in the phone book, pay rent, etc.
|| posted on 1-12-2007 at 21:35
|I am afraid it or the likes of it happens in the UK where immigrants are trapped in low wage work and can not get out of it.
|| posted on 1-12-2007 at 21:24
|I'm glad they won their case. I'm surprised the firm thought they could get off with it tbh. Are they an American firm?
|| posted on 1-12-2007 at 19:17
|There was a small country church near the factory (not unlike my church )
served by a lay minister. Some of the Indian men visited, and were invited back, again and again. They were invited to a church dinner (which must
have seemed really great to them). As they warmed up to the church people a little, they told of the poor living conditions, and their fears. The
minister told them, if it ever got too bad, he owned a few homes in the area (he bought shabby homes, fixed them up, and sold them as his regular
job), and he said he left the keys under the mat.
A day came that some of the men feared they were going to be deported the next day, and asked for help. The minister helped them. The men who had
attended his church jumped into the truck. Another man said, "I'm a Hindu. Will you help me?" "Sure! That's what it's all about!" He came along.
The minister went to the company to get the men's passports, and the vice president refused to give them. That very day, the sheriff was there to
grab seven men whom the company had decided to deport, because they were "troublemakers." The minister found out about this, and managed to get
them safely away. With these, added to the men he already had, he had quite a group (something like 5 plus 7). He gave up his own home to shelter
the men; he and his wife moved into a little house he had bought to fix up.
The minister called the only lawyer he knew, a man who had handled his brother's divorce some years ago. The company lawyer told him, "You don't
know what you're getting into. We're going to beat you like a baby seal!"
Eventually, the Indians prevailed in their case. They are now allowed to stay and work in the U.S., and the Pickle Company owes them about $25,000
each (but John Pickle is trying to avoid paying).
I put this in RSE because I thought there might be comments or responses in terms of religion or ethics.
How do you feel about the case? Is it surprising? Why would a company set up like that in a country with protective labor laws?
|| posted on 1-12-2007 at 18:56
|Have you ever heard of the John Pickle company?
I've been listening to a news magazine article about 52 Indian workers who were recruited to work at this Tulsa company. They were told they would
get good food and be paid well. But, when they got there, the company took possession of their passports, housed them in a dormitory, paid them a few
dollars an hour, and fed them substandard food. They were told not to leave company property without permission, that they would get in trouble.
They feared being deported.
Many of these men had very heavy Indian accents. The food was especially a problem. Some of them were vegetarians, but they were not given enough
protein to live on without eating meat. For example, for breakfast, they might be given half of a one-egg omelet. The man who bought their food
would get deals on over-ripe fruit or bread that was too old to sell (such as might go to pigs, for example). The men were educated. One with an
engineering degree got in trouble with the company for refusing to clean toilets. The company then assigned him to sweep floors, and his boss
complained that he was not working fast enough. When there was too much work for the Americans, the extra was assigned to the Indians, to avoid
paying the Americans overtime. [more, next post]