Stop Tax Dollars From Paying for Forced Labor!

Jobs with Justice

Late last night, Mexican guestworker Hilario Jimenez escaped from company housing to expose his employers. Hilario and other guestworkers were recruited from Mexico and brought to the U.S. on H-2B visas by Vanderbilt Landscaping LLC.

This morning Hilario blew the whistle on a Tennessee scandal: Vanderbilt Landscaping, LLC is receiving millions in federal stimulus money and state contracts put together. And the company is importing guestworkers – cheap, captive labor – into public jobs even as local communities are suffering from record unemployment rates.

Now we ask you to stand with Hilario Middle Tennessee Jobs with Justice and members of the Alliance of Guestworkers of Dignity to fight human trafficking, forced labor, and a company that gets millions in state and stimulus money.

TELL THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO INVESTIGATE VANDERBILT. Call 202 353 1555 and tell Attorney General Eric Holder, “The Department of Justice should investigate and prosecute the employers for criminal conduct including but not limited to labor trafficking, forced labor, unlawful conduct with respect to documents, and other crimes in coordination with the F.B.I.”

TELL THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR TO BAR VANDERBILT FROM HIRING GUESTWORKERS. Call 202 693 6000 and tell Secretary Hilda Solis, “I want the Department of Labor to decertify Vanderbilt from further employment of guestworkers and pursue high penalties for OSHA violations in the labor camps and at the worksites.”

Here’s what Hilario described: When workers arrived from Mexico, Vanderbilt seized their passports to ensure that workers would not “run away.” The company placed workers under surveillance. Managers carried pistols on site, to terrify the workers. Vanderbilt forced Hilario and others into horrific living and working conditions, isolation, and constant threat. Still, the workers organized. When Vanderbilt found out, the company forced one of the organizers onto a bus back to Mexico.

Vanderbilt has done us a favor. The company has made it clear how employers use the U.S. guestworker program to exploit migrant workers and exclude local workers.

Today Black, white, and immigrant workers marched with Hilario to the Vanderbilt’s offices, to confront the company. Went sent a powerful message, and Nashville will stand with workers who organize, and stand for what’s right.

Make a solidarity donation to the workers’ action fund. Visit www.nowcrj.org to make a secure contribution. Or write your checks out to the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, with “Alliance of Guestworkers” in the memo, and mail to: New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, 217 N. Prieur Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70112.

One Response

  1. Very interesting situation, if true! But if it is true, what did you think was going to happen! Your agenda for share the wealth is rediculas… I am a below poverty person, I don’t want anyones money unless I work for it! I want the rich to stay rich, because they create millions of jobs!

    As for the topic at hand, this Admin never had your interest at heart… Obama is power hungry and is working with Mexico… Slave labor is in all of our futures if Obama continues this path of America’s distruction!

    By the way, you all should realize that if the Conservatives are against a bill, there is a good reason, you would do better to really look at the bill rather than always freaken out on the Rep. Just because something is in a package you find enjoyable to look at, doesn’t mean the package doesn’t contain a dead fish!!!

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