400 foreign students walked off temporary jobs at Hershey’s plant in Pennsylvania. While the temporary workers (J-1 visa) were paid $8.35 an hour, they ended up with less than they paid for the visa after rent and program fees were deducted from their pay. A Hershey spokesperson pointed out that these employees worked for a third party company (Exel), but that’s the not the point.
The point is: exploited workers walked off the job. Verizon’s workers said, “Enough.” The unions in Wisconsin said, “Enough.” The people of Ohio have told their anti-labor governor, “Enough.” Maybe a new day is dawning.
Then, again, maybe not. Liz Goodwin, writing for Yahoo, notes that many people involved in the J-1 visa program have been exploited. Employers like this program because they don’t have to pay Social Security.
Enough of gimmicks like the J-1 visa. Let’s put Americans back to work and pay them decent wages.