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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    Hundreds of Foreign students walk out on Hershey in USA

    Loads of university Thais do this nowadays.
    Foreign students walk off Hershey

    Hundreds of foreign students on a State Department cultural exchange visa program walked off their factory jobs in protest on Wednesday.

    The J-1 visa program brings foreign students to the country to work for two months and learn English, and was designed in part to fill seasonal tourism jobs at resorts and seaside towns. The 400 students employed at a Pennsylvania factory that makes Hershey's candies told The New York Times that even though they make $8.35 an hour, their rent and program fees are deducted from their paychecks, leaving them with less money than they spent to get the visas and travel to the country in the first place.

    Some of the students were assigned night shifts, and said they were pressured to work faster and faster on the factory lines.
    Hershey's said they didn't hire the students when the Times asked:

    A spokesman for Hershey's, Kirk Saville, said the chocolate company did not directly operate the Palmyra packing plant, which is managed by a company called Exel. A spokeswoman for Exel said it had found the student workers through another staffing company.

    Last December, theAP revealed that federal immigration officials were investigating two human-trafficking abuse cases related to J-1 visas. Strip clubs openly solicited J-1 visa holders in job listings, and some foreign students told the AP they were forced into sexual slavery when their passports were confiscated by a ring of criminals. About 150,000 J-1 visas were given out in 2008. Businesses save about 8 percent by using a foreign worker because of Social Security and other taxes they do not have to pay.

    To me these are the latest exploitation of American workers and foreign workers. What a big joke this is.

  2. #2
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    Hundreds of Foreign students walk out on Hershey in USA

    Did they take the Hershey Highway?

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat

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    ^ Sounds like that's what they took it up...


  4. #4
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    The title is misleading, they didn't work for Hershey. It would have cost them more to find housing without help of the company too. It helps the renters too, because if these students were allowed to find their own accomodations, they would have been living 10-20 an apartment. My friend just kicked out a bunch of Tunisnian and Algerians out of one of his apartments, six adult males were living in a two room apartment, not two bed room, when there was one person supposed to be living there. That is six lap tops being used, six showers a day (ok they are Arabs, so maybe six showers a week), etc.

  5. #5
    I am in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hampsha
    their rent and program fees are deducted from their paychecks, leaving them with less money than they spent to get the visas and travel to the country in the first place.
    Lets hope they ALL use their return tickets soon, no loss to the Usa!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Bold Rodney View Post
    Lets hope they ALL use their return tickets soon, no loss to the Usa!
    Businesses save about 8 percent by using a foreign worker because of Social Security and other taxes they do not have to pay.

    Though it might should this show prospective student workers what sort of joke country they'd be moving to.

    US Businesses could suffer and there'd be even more US citizens living in sewers and tents.

  7. #7
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    So the US corporations are off-shoring the jobs US citizens used to do.

    The US government is offering tax incentives to US corporations who hire foreign workers, through shell companies, and thus deny US citizens jobs.

    Come the revolution.

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    Americans work for less than that.

  9. #9
    I am in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    So the US corporations are off-shoring the jobs US citizens used to do.

    The US government is offering tax incentives to US corporations who hire foreign workers, through shell companies, and thus deny US citizens jobs.

    Come the revolution.
    This is they way world works. When you are on a losing side, in economy that can not deal with challenge put upon it, you are, screwed. I dont refer to US economy btw, as US economy is highly advanced system and will come up with market economy related solution - if it wont so then it is fucked up

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    If you visit any uni in Thailand nowadays, you'll see signs from several companies advertising for students. I remember one add has a handfull of dollars and another offered 3k a month wokring at a casino. My old students even worked for the nation park service in places like the Grand canyon and Yosimite. I had at least one go to Hershey. Some worked at hotels at maids. One as a recptionist at a Florida Chillies or Applebees. One of them planned to do it again and when she applied she got a 10-year multiple entry visa. I think she had plans to stay there after that. Even students who have graduated get them for their summer break. Some of the kids make nothing due to a lack of hours and have to find other part-time jobs to make money. Many blow all their earnings on travel. SOme even get fired for choosing to travel rather than work.

    Most students pay quite a bit to go something in the area of 70-80k baht. If you get a crap job you don't do well. I did have one students who was a pool cleaner in Virgina or somewhere in that area making $12/hour. Another student who I don't think went with a program got a job at a casino in Atlantic city through her aunt. She said shemade 8k dollars in 3 months that summer. I wouldn't doubt it. That was before all this financial mess.

    The programs used to be called 'Work and Study' programs but that became 'Work and travel' The 'Au Pair' work has been around for quite some time. These are starting to become popular with Thais it seems. The programs again help out the richest Americans. Life is good for corporations and rich people.



    Thai language site:
    Global-X

    This site offers more thant he US...
    International Working Holidays | Global Work & Travel


    Really the US has let legal snakeheads (headhunters, Hmmm?) get rich on people trafficking to help companies save even more.


    It's really expanding even up here in Esarn. A student here in Surin just told me he is going to Texas in March and is paying 60k to go. There are probably five different posters up at my Esarn school. These posters say expect 6-10 hour and have students working at places from Wyoming to Hawaii.

  11. #11
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hampsha View Post
    To me these are the latest exploitation of American workers and foreign workers. What a big joke this is.
    Work and travel

    I have seen Thai kids working at Universal (in Florida). I think they provide housing for the kids. Kind of disturbing,..these kids come to visit/travel but they are just put to work.

    But I think they know what they are getting into? But I dont think they make enough money to pay off the debt for airfare and agent fees?

    น้[at]งแ[at]น กับประสบการณ์การ ปโครงการ Work and Travel ที่ Universal Studios ที่ Hollywood สหรัฐ[at]เมริกา - วิชาการ.ค[at]ม
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

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    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    I have seen Thai kids working at Universal (in Florida). I think they provide housing for the kids. Kind of disturbing,…..these kids come to visit/travel but they are just put to work.
    The work and travel programs are great when the economy is good. Right now there are probably many American teenagers and college students who want/need and opportunity to work there. What kid from anywhere in the States would turn down a job with housing at Universal Studios? It is a dream job for them.

    It is disgusting that businesses are participating in this visa program for cheap labor.

  13. #13
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    Old man Hershey is spinning in his grave.
    Instead of sponsoring 100 scholarships/year and hundreds of jobs for a noble workforce, his heirs have moved the production offshore, the better to compete with other multi-nationals hypnotized by irrational greed.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hampsha View Post
    These posters say expect 6-10 hour and have students working at places from Wyoming to Hawaii.
    My god, you couldn't pay me enough to go back to Wyoming

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat reinvented's Avatar
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    wifes niece just did a stint working at mcdonalds in new jersey living in a trailer park
    she loved it

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    My god, you couldn't pay me enough to go back to Wyoming
    I think it might have been a hotel in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Isn't that a resort area for the rich?

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    A related story. May be some jobs opening up for Americans, who knows?


    New State Department visa rules concern Alaska's seafood industry | McClatchy

    WASHINGTON The State Department is moving to halt visas that allow foreign students to work in U.S. manufacturing jobs, which Alaska seafood processors say could create an employment crisis going into the summer season.
    State Department overhaul of the J-1 Summer Work Travel program comes after reports of abuse. In one well publicized incident last summer, hundreds of foreign students walked off their jobs at a plant in Pennsylvania that packs Hershey's chocolates, saying they were subjected to brutal sweatshop conditions for scant pay.
    The changes to the program would have a particularly big impact in Alaska.
    Glen Reed of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association said he's heard estimates that 4,000 to 5,000 foreign students work in the Alaska seafood industry each summer through the program. It's not unusual for smaller seafood processing companies to hire half their workers through the visa program, he said, and those companies are struggling more than the big players to find replacements.
    The Alaska congressional delegation is objecting to the rule change and hopes to at least slow it down so this summer's fishing season is spared.
    "This abrupt reduction in the available workforce would impact not just the participating students and processing companies but fishermen who depend on these processors to sell their catch and the communities in which these facilities operate," Alaska Sen. Mark Begich recently wrote the Obama administration. "Remote Alaska communities where the local economy largely depends on relatively small processing facilities are likely to suffer the greatest hardship."
    The seafood plants are often in far-flung locations and these are jobs that many Alaskans don't want, said Reed of the seafood processors association. The jobs are grueling and don't pay a lot, although the long hours lead to overtime pay and workers save money since the plants are often in places where there's not a lot to spend money on.
    Finding workers in the Lower 48 to fill the gap isn't easy despite the sluggish economy, Reed said.
    "People looking for jobs are first and foremost looking close to home. And a lot of them are not looking for entry level jobs like this, where you travel far and you've got to be on your feet, when the season peaks, for 16 hours a day plus or minus for maybe several weeks in a row," Reed said.
    State Department representatives did not return calls Friday to discuss the J-1 visa issue. But the changes come after a review ordered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The program had become an embarrassment with reports in the Lower 48 of exploited workers, including even women forced to work in strip clubs.
    Begich himself wrote Clinton in November saying the program should be reviewed.
    He wrote that foreign students showed up in Kodiak, Kenai and Soldotna and had to rely on locals for help because they didn't have money for housing and transportation. In some cases the students took overtime work from the locals, Begich wrote.
    "The lack of overtime pay caused local residents to not have the usual income to provide for their families. Some had to visit the food bank and local homeless shelter for assistance," Begich wrote.
    Begich wanted more oversight so that employment contractors don't send too many foreign students to a town that can't handle them, said his spokeswoman, Julie Hasquet. But Begich never asked for foreign students to be forbidden from seafood plants, she said.
    Begich and the other two members of Alaska's Congressional delegation are pressing the Obama administration to stop the State Department from going through with the change. The Office of Management and Budget is reviewing whether to let the State Department go ahead with it.
    "It is really a tough situation, especially given there was so little notice to industry," said Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
    Seafood processors, meanwhile, are scrambling to find replacement workers in time for the summer season.
    "It's a struggle and not going to come without some significant cost," said Norm Van Vactor, manager of Leader Creek Seafood's Naknek plant.
    He said the foreign students, many of whom come from Eastern Europe, are good workers. They use the money to pay for school or to travel around the country before going home, he said.
    Robin Richardson of Copper River Seafoods said her company has worked toward training Alaska workers and increasing automation. But the company was planning on J-1 workers this summer and had screened and selected 200 of them in the Czech Republic over the winter who apparently will now not be allowed to come and work.
    "The timing is really the biggest challenge," she said.


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