Thursday, February 9th, 2017

H-2B Worker Abuse Documented in Louisiana; Wal-Mart Suspends Supplier

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"H-2B guestworkers at C.J.’s Seafood, a Wal-Mart supplier in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, have exposed forced labor by the employer, who forced workers to work up to 24-hour shifts with no overtime pay, locked them in the plant, threatened them with beatings to make them work faster, and threatened violence against their families back in Mexico after workers contacted law enforcement out of desperation.  In response, the National Guestworker Alliance has conducted an initial survey of other WalMart suppliers that use guestworker programs.  The survey has uncovered preliminary evidence of forced labor conditions—federal labor violations in the context of structural constraints of the guestworker program—at two-thirds of the Wal-Mart suppliers sampled, 12 out of 18. The preliminary evidence includes 644 federal citations for safety, health, and wage and hour violations, as well as dozens of federal lawsuits alleging