Fighting back: Join the Campaign!
After suffering discriminatory treatment (compared to their U.S. citizen co-workers) and other forms of abuse and exploitation, more than 100 Filipino GIS workers have joined a class action lawsuit against their recruiters and employers. Despite bribery and threats of deportation and harm to their families in the Philippines, the workers, surviving relatives and community supporters are demanding justice from these companies.
They are also demanding accountability from the Philippine and U.S. government agencies responsible for neglecting, if not facilitating, this situation of guestworker exploitation, trafficking and abuse. Local, national and international communities of Filipinos, guestworkers, churches, and everyday people are joining this campaign. JOIN US in our common struggle for truth and justice!
JUSTICE FOR GRAND ISLE SHIPYARD FILIPINO WORKERS and VICTIMS OF the BLACK ELK EXPLOSION
CALLS and DEMANDS:
- Justice for Avelino Tajonera, Ellroy Corporal, and all other Filipino migrant workers who have died or were injured or exploited working for Grand Isle Shipyard.
- The Filipino GIS workers’ stolen wages and tax refunds must immediately be returned to them.
- All former GIS guestworkers still in the US should be granted humanitarian (U or T) visas immediately.
- Government agencies must immediately investigate the conditions of the 167 currently employed GIS guestworkers. They must shut down Grand Isle Shipyard, Inc., D&R Resources, DNR Offshore Crewing Services, Black Elk Energy, and their operators for illegal, inhumane, and negligent business practices.
- We must end workplace racism and discrimination and develop stronger worker protections for all workers, including guestworkers.
- The Philippine government must end the Labor Export Program, and they along with the U.S. government, and recruiters and companies in the Philippines and the U.S. must “Stop Trafficking Our People” (see STOP Project of Phil-Forum).
- We must bring an end to this and other examples of Modern-Day Slavery of migrant workers!
- The Philippines and other labor sending countries must end forced migration by creating jobs at home, instead of encouraging the outmigration of our people who have no choice but to leave their families, communities, and home country!
- Philippine Ambassador Cuisia was made aware of the exploitation of Filipino GIS workers since 2010. He did nothing to stop the abuse and exploitation of these workers. The campaign demands the resignation of Ambassador Cuisia.
- To support the GIS Filipino workers in accessing moral and social support, immediate relief and protection from retaliation, humanitarian visas and work permits, and victory in the class action lawsuit against GIS, D&R, DNR, and other defendants. To hold accountable the companies and individuals responsible for the exploitation of the GIS Filipino migrant guest- workers.
- To support the grassroots organization and leadership of migrant workers and other trafficked victims to directly address this particular case and prevent future exploitation and abuse of Filipino migrants and all guestworkers in the United States.
- To expose and oppose the slave-like conditions of the GIS workers and expose the culpability of the Philippine and US governments in these guestworker programs as a form of legal human trafficking.
- To activate Filipino and non-Filipino organizations in the New Orleans area in order to build alliances inside Louisiana, across the United States, and around the world. And to build a broad network of support for this campaign and connect it with the struggle nationally and internationally against exploitative guestworker programs and for migrant rights.
- To engage and be catalysts in policy changes, including but not limited to, strengthening anti-trafficking laws and labor laws in the Philippines and host countries, and the elimination of exploitative guestworker programs as part of U.S. immigration reform.