Indian Workers Allege Mistreatment At Work - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Indian Workers Allege Mistreatment At Work

Joseph Jacob's time at Signal International and in the United States is running out.  That's because he and 5 other Indian co-workers were fired Friday morning. Since he started work in November 2006, Jacob claim's he's faced unbearable conditions at Signal.

"I have never seen [anything] like this situation," Jacob says.

He's part of a H-2-B visa program that Signal started to alleviate the labor shortage's they've felt post-Katrina. Company officials tell us Joseph's termination and pending deportation are perfectly legal, based on I-N-S policy. Workers rights advocates say the visa program sets immigrants up for poor conditions.

"It does nothing but legalize slavery," Mississippi Rights Alliance representative Victoria Cintra says. 

The 280 Indian workers that gathered outside Signal's gates today say they've been treated unfairly. They allege they've been sleeping 24 to a room with only 2 bathrooms at the shipyard.

"The people, united will never be defeated," hundreds of Indian workers chanted outside the facilities.

Though some workers are protesting here at Signal International, President Dick Marler says he's got nothing to hide. In fact, the Department of Labor was just here for an inspection earlier this week.

"The Department conducted a full search, looked at all of our records, looked at our living conditions, sampled that we were paying the right wage, looked at the living conditions, and we passed with flying colors," Signal International President and CEO Dick Marler says.  

Marler also says the 6 workers were unskilled, and Signal will be forced to pay about 12,000 total to send them back to India. Jacob says he doesn't want to go home because he sacrificed it all to come here.

"All my property, my house, everything is at the bank. To come here," Jacob says.

Signal International Officials say they plan to continue participating in the H-2-B program with Indian workers. But in the future, they want to ensure that workers sent from overseas posses specific skills and are fluent in English.

By Keli Rabon

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Suicide prevention information available

    Suicide prevention information available

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 11:31 PM EDT2018-06-20 03:31:11 GMT
    Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a 1-800-273-TALK (8255). (Photo Source: Pixabay)Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a 1-800-273-TALK (8255). (Photo Source: Pixabay)
    Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a 1-800-273-TALK (8255). (Photo Source: Pixabay)Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a 1-800-273-TALK (8255). (Photo Source: Pixabay)

    It is never easy to report on the death those in the communities we serve. Suicide is no exception. 

    More >>

    It is never easy to report on the death those in the communities we serve. Suicide is no exception. 

    More >>
  • Hurricane worries can cause anxiety and even PTSD

    Hurricane worries can cause anxiety and even PTSD

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 10:47 PM EDT2018-06-20 02:47:20 GMT
    The threat of hurricanes in South Mississippi has caused many residents to have anxiety. (Source: File)The threat of hurricanes in South Mississippi has caused many residents to have anxiety. (Source: File)
    The threat of hurricanes in South Mississippi has caused many residents to have anxiety. (Source: File)The threat of hurricanes in South Mississippi has caused many residents to have anxiety. (Source: File)

    Fortunately for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it's been calm this hurricane season, aside from the Subtropical Alberto scare Memorial Day Weekend. 

    More >>

    Fortunately for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it's been calm this hurricane season, aside from the Subtropical Alberto scare Memorial Day Weekend. 

    More >>
  • Construction hose leak frustrates East Biloxi resident

    Construction hose leak frustrates East Biloxi resident

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 10:47 PM EDT2018-06-20 02:47:09 GMT
    Oscar Renda, a construction company, says the liquid from the hose is storm water, not sewage. (Photo Source: WLOX)Oscar Renda, a construction company, says the liquid from the hose is storm water, not sewage. (Photo Source: WLOX)
    Oscar Renda, a construction company, says the liquid from the hose is storm water, not sewage. (Photo Source: WLOX)Oscar Renda, a construction company, says the liquid from the hose is storm water, not sewage. (Photo Source: WLOX)

    A resident living in the East Biloxi construction zone contacted WLOX with concerns about a hose leaking into his yard.

    More >>

    A resident living in the East Biloxi construction zone contacted WLOX with concerns about a hose leaking into his yard.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly