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Author: Subject: Coerced Old World Indian workers
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[*] Post 310450 posted on 1-12-2007 at 18:56 Reply With Quote
Coerced Old World Indian workers



Have you ever heard of the John Pickle company?

wiki article

virtual slavery

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]
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[*] Post 310452 posted on 1-12-2007 at 19:17 Reply With Quote


There was a small country church near the factory (not unlike my church :D ) 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. :o:o

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!":D 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!"shocked_yellowshocked_yellowshocked_yellow

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?
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[*] Post 310456 posted on 1-12-2007 at 21:24 Reply With Quote


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?
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