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. The costs for the Guatemalan workers are over $1,000 which means that the first week of week they effectively earn nothing because they are already in debt. If the court rules that these costs are the responsibility of the employer, then the workers will be ensured that the expenses can not result in them receiving less than the minimum wage for the first work week.

Global Workers wishes to thank the Human Rights Omnibudsman’s Office (PDH in Spanish initials) for the incredible support. Cathleen worked out of its offices during the week and the PDH team helped her contact the workers. Without a doubt the success of the trip was due to the PDH’s support. The PDH will continue to serve as the liaison to the workers through out the course of the case.

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