Digging into abuses of H-2A and H-2B temporary worker programs in U.S.

The Global Worker Alliance, about which I have posted in the past, is evolving into the leading advocate of temporary worker rights, especially for H-2A (agriculture) and H-2B (forestry, landscaping, etc.) workers. I have placed below its March 2007 report on a visit to Guatemala. The Aliiance is now training workers before they come, and documenting abuses of recruiters.
Reducing Guest Worker Exploitation in Guatemala
Global Workers has been persistently encouraging the United States Embassy in Guatemala and the Guatemalan Labor Ministry to take steps to reduce the rampant exploitation of the Guatemalan people who work in the US guest worker program. On a recent trip to Guatemala, both entities pledged to take major steps forward.
Global Workers met with the US Ambassador and the US Consul General in Guatemala and secured a commitment to change the practice of not informing guest workers about their rights or where to seek assistance. Soon the embassy should be providing the workers with a know-your rights hand out that Global Workers and Southern Poverty Law Center jointly crafted.
The Guatemalan labor ministry has invited Global Workers to provide a training on the US guest worker program. Building on the training, the ministry is pledging to crack down on the abuses by Guatemalan contractors. One such example is the procurement of false loans. Contractors force workers to sign contracts stating they have received loans, when in fact they have not. The contract is a form of bondage to guarantee the worker’s return.

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