More than hundred Indian workers employed by US based Signal International, LLC have reported that they were treated like slaves and were subjected to inhuman working conditions. Signal International, LLC is a marine and fabrication services provider in Gulf of Mexico having work facilities at Mississippi and Texas.
Important features of this episode are:
- the workers mostly pipe fitters and welders were recruited in 2006 by the Indian manpower agencies of Signal International, LLC under H2B, US Guest Worker programs
- the workers have paid to the manpower agency Rs 8 lakhs to 10 lakhs (20000USD to 25000USD) for green cards and permanent US residency
- Signal International, LLC denies of making any promise for green cards or permanent US residency
- earlier protests by the workers in 2007 were suppressed ruthlessly by the employer
- in response to the workers complaints, the Indian government has suspended the licences of Dewan Consultants and S. Mansur and company of Mumbai. The website of Dewan Consultants has been deactivated.
- two Indian Embassy officials in US on a fact finding mission have met the workers and are preparing a report to be sent to Indian government
- US based worker forums ‘Jobs for Justice’ organization and ‘Alliance for Guest Workers for Dignity’ are helping the workers to get justice.
- the families of Indian workers are putting pressure on Indian government for immediate action
- US Congressman George Miller of House Education and Labor Committee has intervened to sort out this issue
Click here to view some photographs of the protesting workers.
Update: March 19
Indian workers have started a march from New Orleans to Washington to seek justice from Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen. Click here to read more.
Update: March 28
Indian envoy Ronen Sen meets Indian workers and the workers demand a CBI probe into the alleged human trafficking by recruiters. Click here to read more.
Update: April 01
Indian workers gathered to protest outside White House and have demanded investigation of their former employer. Click here for more details.
Update: April 09
Indian workers approach United Nations for help. Click here to read more.
Update: April 12
The US State Department is actively monitoring the case. Click here to read more.
Update: April 17
Indian Government said that the Indian mission in the US has approached the US government to conduct a detailed investigation into the matter and take remedial measures. Read more from thaindian.
Update: April 28
Indian workers issue discussed in Lok Sabha. Read more from sify.
Update: May 15
Five Workers have commenced hunger strike in front of White House demanding US action to get justice. Read more from thaindian.
Update: June 12
Indian workers end their hunger strike as US Justice Department promises to meet them next week. Read more from expressindia.
Here is a video clip of the protesting workers.
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