More from Josh Eidelson on the abuse of guest workers in this great and free country of ours. This time, he writes about Jamaicans in Florida who paid $2,000 to come to the U.S. for the opportunity to work for a company called Mr. Clean. The company provided overcrowded housing where workers slept on the floor and then charged them exorbitantly for it, presenting them with paychecks for $0 and then demanding the rent balance on top of that. The good (“good”) news: The workers went on strike and filed a Federal complaint.
Josh Eidelson has an informative and accessible op-ed in the Washington Post explaining how Walmart is able to keep wages low. CAN YOU GUESS HOW!?
In Chicago, 500 fast food workers from a dozen chains are striking today to protest low wages. (“Like their New York counterparts, the Chicago workers are demanding raises to $15 an hour, and the chance to form a union without intimidation.”)
And around the country, workers in 100 Walmart stores are confronting management today to demand changes to the company’s scheduling system. (“Workers have charged that insufficient and erratic work schedules consign them to poverty, wreak havoc on their personal lives and shortchange customer service.”)
Josh Eidelson has a great piece in Dissent exploring the widespread abuse of guest workers in the U.S. He focuses on the gripping story of workers at a shrimp processing plant in Louisiana where a manager frequently threatened to beat employees with a shovel and the owner said he’d “send armed men to assault their families.” REALLY FUN READING. Josh does such a good job of giving a voice to people who are systematically ignored. (“In interviews with Louisiana guest workers, I heard the word impotencia (powerlessness) again and again.”)
At Salon, Josh Eidelson examines how the plight of the guest worker is really the plight of the American worker. (‘”It’s become really, really clear to us,’ said [Saket Soni, the executive director of the National Guestworker Alliance], that ‘what’s at stake is not merely lower wages but the transformation of entire industries, and the disappearance of rights, respect, and a contract. In effect, guest workers are used to push the bottom even further down.’”)