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June 2, 2006

Global Workers is pleased to report that it was able to obtain legal support for the Guatemalan guestworkers who were deceived into working in extremely exploitative conditions in Connecticut in violation of their H-2B contract. A legal team was assembled within days of Cathleen’s return from Guatemala. The exploitation is severe enough to warrant an investigation into possible human trafficking. Unfortunately, guestworkers vulnerability to abuse is increased by their lack of information about their rights and support services in the United States.

Guatemala City, Guatemala May 20, 2006

Back in Guatemala City, Cathleen signed up additional workers. In addition to the wage claim, one worker continues to suffer from an injury he sustained while working for Brickman in the USA in 2005. Although he is attempting to work now in Guatemala he clearly continues to suffer from the injury and should probably not be working at all. We are now seeking legal help for him so he can get the medical attention he deserves.

Chiquimula, Guatemala May 18, 2006

Chiquimula is a dry, hot state right on the Honduran border. Most of the 150 Guatemalan Brickman workers were recruited from here. Cathleen was able to sign up several clients in Chiquimula for the Fair Labor Standards Act Representative Action brought by the Friends of Farmworkers against the Brickman Group. The lawsuit focuses on who has the obligation to pay the transportation and related costs to bring a worker to the USA—the employer or the employee.

Guatemala City, Guatemala May 12, 2006

The secondary focus in Guatemala City has been to strategize with Guatemalan advocates and government officials to ensure that foreign companies recruiting workers in Guatemala to work abroad comply with the Guatemalan labor code. According to Article 34 of the Guatemalan Labor Code, foreign companies must pay all of the related transportation costs of the Guatemalan workers they recruit to work abroad. This law is violated wholesale and unfortunately the US government is complicit.

Guatemala City, Guatemala May 11, 2006

Guatemala is such a beautiful yet tragic country. The level of organized violent crime and accompanying impunity is simply spiraling out of control. The army can be now seen patrolling the city streets, a sight not seen since the civil war. More people are killed daily now then during the country’s 36 years of armed conflict. In this atmosphere of insecurity and poverty it is easy to understand why so many Guatemalans migrate north.

San Salvador, El Salvador, May 5, 2006

Welcome to the first entry of the Global Workers Justice Alliance blog! Here we will share more detailed information about our work.

San Salvador, El Salvador May 6, 2006

While in El Salvador, Global Workers met with various entities to learn about the transnational access to justice challenges in El Salvador and to lay the groundwork for alliance work in that country.


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