Moral Low Ground

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U.S. Charges Farm Companies with Human Labor Trafficking

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Wednesday that it was filing charges against two companies accused of exploiting hundreds of Indian and Thai employees, human trafficking victims forced to toil for next to nothing and live in appalling conditions.

According to Agence France-Presse, it is the largest-ever human trafficking case in the US agricultural sector.

The EEOC alleges that Global Horizons brought 200 Thai men to Hawaii and Washington state, charging them exorbitant recruitment fees in exchange for what they were told would be high-paying jobs. But when they arrived in the United States, they were forced to work for a pittance while living in crowded quarters infested with rats and insects. The men were subject to verbal and physical abuse as well, stripped of their passports and kept in strict segregation from non-Thai workers.

In addition, federal authorities are suing the companies running the farms where the trafficked men worked. They “not only ignored abuses but also participated in the obvious mistreatment, intimidation, harassment and unequal pay of the Thai workers,” a statement said. Agence France-Presse lists the companies as: Captain Cook Coffee Co., Del Monte Fresh Produce, Kauai Coffee Co., Kelena Farms, MacFarms of Hawaii, Maui Pineapple Farms, Green Acre Farms, and Valley Fruit Orchards.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Betty FokkerApril 22, 2011 at 5:39 pmReply

    Why isn’t this all over the “mainstream” news?

  2. Stephen CohenMay 5, 2011 at 5:29 pmReply

    The reason is because the charges are false and misleading. I expect that this case will be dismissed.
    Global Horizons sued the U.S. Government over 50 times according to PACER (U.S. Government’s district Court case information) and in each case they won!

    I believe they just pissed somone off in the government.

    I have worked for this company and they followed the rules and regulations at all times.

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