India, US looking into 'slave treatment' of Indian workers | india | Hindustan Times
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India, US looking into 'slave treatment' of Indian workers

india Updated: Mar 12, 2008 09:45 IST

The Indian and US governments were looking into the developments at a Mississippi shipyard, where over 100 Indian workers have quit their jobs protesting alleged "slave treatment" by their employer after being "tricked" into coming to America.

"The federal crimes committed by the company and the Indian recruiters are very serious indeed and are now being looked into by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the US," worker rights activist Saket Soni told PTI over phone from New Orleans.

The Commission is the US government agency that probes allegations of discrimination at workplace.

The workers, who alleged they lived "like pigs in a cage" in a "work camp" run by Signal International in Pascagoula shipyard, now want the Indian government to pressurise the US to open a formal investigation and prosecute the company and the recruiters, Soni said.

"Legally we are exploring all options," the activist, who is the Director of New Orleans Workers Center and represents the Alliance of Guest Workers for Dignity, said.

"We are pursuing the matter seriously," a senior official of the Indian Embassy told PTI here. "Our Mission (Consulate) in Houston, Texas is following this," he added.

Soni said the workers have personally spoken to the Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi who has assured them that he will be pursuing the matter at the highest levels of the government in India.