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Another protest by Indian workers in foreign land

New Delhi, Sat, 08 Mar 2008 NI Wire

Indian workers after showing umbrage to Dubai employers demanding higher wages and better living condition, a hundred of workers revolted against the slave treatment at Mississippi shipyard by hurling their hard hats in the air on Thursday.

The workers mainly from India who were brought when Hurricane Katrina killed thousands of workers at Gulf Coast in the year 2005 have alleged that they were living like pigs in a cage in work camps of Signal International in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Alleging the Signal International of luring the workers by offering them permanent US residency the workers said that Signal forced them to live in crowded room and were paid very less, they also contended that thus they were baited into a human trafficking ring.

The workers said that a room was shared by 24 people and for which the company charged $1,050 per month.

However denying the charges of the workers, Signal in a statement said, “Unfortunately, a few of the workers whom Signal had sponsored for H2B visas and recruited have made baseless and unfounded allegations against Signal concerning their employment and living conditions.”

The company in the statement said that facilities and labour practices have already been inspected and approved by both the Department of Labor and the federal Immigration and Customs division.

The protesters said that they will report to the Department of Justice as victims of trafficking, and demand federal prosecution of Signal.

Earlier too a similar protest was held but their attempt was foiled by police.

Every year thousands of Indian workers migrate to other countries in search of better prospects of life but find themselves trapped in situations that only destroy them. Also most of the migration is illegal and hence leave these workers at the mercy of the employers, and even in case of violation they can not go for legal help as they do not have any official status in the country.

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