Do you guys remember the Indian workers who, just a couple of months ago, embarked in a truth action or “satyagrhah” march from New Orleans to Washington D.C. and then tore up copies of their H2B visas on the White House lawn?
Let me refresh your memory: their beef is with Signal International, a marine construction company, and two of its recruiters. For a $20,000 fee, the workers were promised a green card for themselves and their families and good work at a company’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Instead, however, workers received a 10-month work visa. They were housed in unsanitary, cramped housing and held captive, unable to complain without facing brutal repercussions.
According to UnionVoice.org, the workers are still engaging in peaceful protests. On May 14, five of the workers went on hunger strike demanding they be granted permission to stay in the U.S. while their case goes through the courts. They want to be granted continued presence in the U.S., and they’re asking that the U.S. Congress hold hearings on the abuses of the guest worker program. Five more workers joined the strike on its second week and allies across the U.S. and in India are now fasting in solidarity.