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US judge orders six farms and labour contractor Global Horizons to pay Thai workers $12.3 mill for hostile work conditions and discrimination

Thaiworker

On 19 December 2014, a United States judge ordered farm labour contractor Global Horizons Inc. and six farms, Cap- tain Cook Coffee Co. Ltd., Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc., Kauai Coffee Co. Inc., Kalena Farms Inc., Mac Farms of Hawaii and Maui Pineapple Co., to pay $12.3 million in a discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Global Horizons supplied Thai workers that suffered from discrimination and dangerous work conditions as labourers on the six farms.

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Article
22 December 2014

Judge rules on Thai workers’ reparation

Author: Nelson Daranciang, Honolulu Star-Advertiser (USA)

A federal judge says a California-based labour contracting company and a Maui pineapple farm are responsible for paying $8.7 million in a discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of 82 Thai workers who were brought to Hawaii as farm laborers. U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi had previously found that Global Horizons Inc. and Maui Pineapple Co. engaged in a pattern or practice of harassment, discriminatory conduct and retaliation against the workers...Based on statements from the workers and witnesses, and admissions by Global Horizons and Maui Pineapple, Kobayashi found that the Thai workers were paid less, forced to work harder and placed under tighter restrictions than Filipino and Micronesian workers. She also found that the Thai workers, unlike their Filipino and Micronesian counter- parts, were forced to endure substandard living conditions including food shortages, overcrowding and inadequate sanitation. She said Thai workers who complained were threatened with violence and deportation...

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Article
22 December 2014

Thai workers on Hawaii farms may not get any of $8.7M award

Author: Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, KHON2 (USA)

A federal judge has ruled that a California-based labour contractor must pay $8.7 million in damages to Thai workers who were exploited while working at Hawaii farms, but it's not clear whether any of them will get the money. Mordechai Orian, former president of Global Horizons, said Monday that the Los Angeles company is no longer in business and has no way to pay. “We will fight this ridiculous decision,” he said, calling the amount “insane.” Orian continued to deny workers were mistreated. “We paid those guys to the last penny they worked for,” he said. “We tried to keep legal farming in the United States alive, and this is the thanks we get.” The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal lawsuit in 2011 against Global Horizons and six Hawaii farms. It alleged workers were subjected to discrimination, uninhabitable housing, insufficient food, inadequate wages and deportation threats. Five of the farms settled for a total of $3.6 million...

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Item
19 December 2014

Court Order: Case 1:11-cv-00257-LEK-RLP

Author: United States District Court for the District of Hawaii

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