Indentured Workers Fight Back

by Paul Garver

One of the most welcome shifts in AFL-CIO policy over the last decade has been the wholehearted advocacy of the rights of all workers, including undocumented immigrants, so-called “guest” workers and others among the most vulnerable and exploited groups of workers. Growing ethnic diversity in the ranks of labor, if not necessarily reflected on the Executive Council or top leadership, and the increasing prominence of labor council leaders who champion immigrants rights like Maria Elena Durazo of Los Angeles, safeguard against a return to “nativism.”
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How to Support Hunger Strike of Indian Migrant Workers

Five migrant workers from India who are fighting against their exploitation under the H2B program (see May 8 article “Gandhi Joins with Martin Luther King“) have begun a hunger strike.

They are demanding:

  • Continued presence in the U.S without the threat of deportation
  • The right to participate in a criminal trafficking investigation into their former employer, Northrop Grumman subcontractor Signal International, and the US and Indian recruiters who cheated them.
  • Congressional hearings into abuses of the guest worker visa program in the US Gulf Coast
  • Concrete action from the Indian government to protect future Indian workers.

The American News Project has made a great video on this struggle.
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Gandhi Joins with Martin Luther King: Jobs with Justice National Conference

Here is one ongoing story of struggle by workers against exploitative corporate globalization. It is part of the rich tapestry presented at the Jobs with Justice National Conference in Providence, which assembled several hundred activists from forty local coalitions that campaign for workers’ rights. These delegates, diverse in age, race and culture, shared their organizing experiences and successes, of perseverance in the face of adversity and corporate and political villany. This struggle by Indian workers against their exploitation by the U.S. government’s H2B “guest worker” program is continuing. Continue reading