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20 Apr 2011

Alex Dobuzinskis, Reuters

U.S. sues over treatment of workers from Thailand, India

A federal agency has sued over unequal treatment of more than 500 workers from India recruited to work at shipyards in Mississippi and Texas and over 200 Thai farm laborers brought to Hawaii and Washington state, officials said on Wednesday. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contends the workers were forced to live in substandard housing and exploited with fees, to the point where some had net earnings of nearly nothing. The EEOC said the treatment of the Thai and Indian workers amounted to human trafficking...Last year Mordechai Orian, the head of the labor firm that recruited the Thai farm workers, was arrested and charged in federal court with forced labor conspiracy...[The] EEOC said in lawsuits filed on Tuesday...that Orian's...Global Horizons Inc recruited the Thai laborers to work on six farms in Hawaii and two in Washington state between 2003 and 2007...workers had their passports taken and were threatened with deportation if they complained, officials said. [also refers to Signal International]

Part of the following timelines

US Govt. sues two firms over conditions for foreign workers on farms & at shipyards

Global Horizons lawsuit (re forced labour, civil proceedings)