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27 Oct 2022

Molly Boigon, Andrew W. Lehren, Laura Strickler, Courtney Kube, Anna Schecter & Yousef H. Alshammari, NBC News

'Working in fear': Some private contractors are accused of abusive labor practices on U.S. military bases

See all tags Allegations

NBC News, in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, The Washington Post, and Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, interviewed more than 40 current and former employees of contractors at military bases. NBC News combed through thousands of pages of congressional testimony, reports from the Justice and the Defense departments, Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and other documents to reveal which companies were accused of trafficking workers or determined to have trafficked them...

What NBC News found was a lack of transparency, both in what the Pentagon is willing to tell the public about alleged taxpayer-funded abuse of workers, and what its officials share with one another and other agencies about companies with troubled records.

From fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2021, the military itself took action in 176 incidents of labor violations by military contractors and subcontractors, according to State Department records reviewed for this article, and substantiated violations involving more than 900 workers in fiscal 2020 alone, according to the Justice Department.

Though such information is supposed to be public, the Pentagon would not disclose the names of the contractors with violations, despite multiple inquiries, including Freedom of Information Act requests.

[Refers to Tamimi Global, Triple Canopy, Vectrus Systems Corp., Aegis and its parent company, GardaWorld.]