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US firm charged with mistreating Indian workers

A US federal agency has filed a lawsuit against an Alabama based oil rig construction company for alleged demeaning treatment of 500 Indian immigrant workers recruited to work in Mississippi and Texas.  Listing numerous complaints of discriminatory conduct by Signal International, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges that Indian workers were forced to live in "substandard" accommodations and given "unwholesome" food, for which they were charged $35 daily.

The complaint, filed on Wednesday in Gulfport, Mississippi, also says the workers were lured into forced labour in Pascagoula, Mississippi and Orange, Texas, were subjected to hostile working conditions, and demeaned by being referred to by numbers instead of their names.  Signal retaliated against at least two workers for opposing the alleged unlawful conduct, the EEOC said, alleging the company violated the rights of the Indian guest workers.  Signal, a marine and fabrication company with shipyards in Mississippi, Texas and Alabama, is a subcontractor for several major multi-national firms. (click on link to read full story) 

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