Monday, September 2, 2013

Subcontractor Servitude


Apropos of Labor Day, Professor Jennifer Gordon writes in this op/ed about the abuse of Jamaican H-2B "guest workers":

"[D]ebt, fraud and coercion . . . plague guest-work programs in the United States. An estimated 700,000 to a million guest workers and their families enter the country each year, mostly to work in low-wage industries but also as nurses, teachers, computer programmers and the like. When guest workers are exploited, it lowers the floor for American workers, too."

The American experience with guest worker programs, including the "Bracero Program" which brought "guest" workers from Mexico to work in agriculture from WWI to the 1964, has often been that immigrant workers have been exploited and their wage, condition, and other protections have not been honored.


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