US in one line: No organized labor

NYTimes reports:

On Wednesday, 300 foreign students walked off the job and staged a protest rally at a packaging warehouse for Hershey’s chocolates, saying this wasn’t the America they had paid to see.  When they tried to organize, they said they were warned to stop complaining or they would be kicked out of the program.


The students, from Turkey, China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Romania, Mongolia, Moldova, Poland and Ghana, were hired under the J-1 visa program, which allows foreign university students to work in the United States for two months and then travel. The idea is to let them practice English, make some money and learn what America is like.

These students found themselves working in an industrial park, packing candy and moving boxes, many on the overnight shift. Though they had each paid from $3,000 to $6,000 to participate in the J-1 program, rent and other fees were deducted from their paychecks.

NYTimes whitewash:

There is much good to see in this country. And no one should want to sugar coat the tougher side of life here either, including long shifts at backbreaking jobs for low pay that is familiar to American workers. But no workers should have to put up with bullying from bosses or threats of firing (or in this case deportation) if they want to organize. That sort of “cultural experience” should shame us all.


We don't do organized labor, for we restrict the 1st Amendment to noise generating ends, and suspend it when the the owners feel threatened.  Yup, the J-1 students must also be their temporary property.   How do they perceive America?  Why bother to ask, the scheme seems to be working...


keith said...

Sounds like the 19th century scams. American industrialists and rail-roads sent advance-men to Europe to fill up the prairies with farmers with tales of streets paved with gold. Some lucky 'folks' were commandeered at Ellis Island and shipped out west to slave in copper mines.

Innovation here is the Gov. acting to ensnare? Not really. All the real slaves, 'indentured servants' and convict colonies of earlier times.

The benefits weren't very good in the rubber plantations of south east Asia or King Leopold's Congo, come to think of it. Far from a bagatelle these days either. Anywhere.

multumnonmulta said...

Keith, has anything magnificent been built without a big lie?

The problem with this J-1 program today is that we undersell the American mystique for the benefit of few small time crooks.

We've grown indolent, I'm afraid, and the world is much faster to notice today than in the 19th century.

Blog Archive