Signal International Lawsuit
allegedly lured foreign workers to US shipyards with false promises of permanent resident status.
Signal InternationalForeign welders and pipe fitters have filed a class action lawsuit seeking certification against the oil rig repair and construction company alleging they were lured with false promises of permanent resident status to come to the United States after Hurricane Katrina. Workers were recruited from India and the United Arab Emirates in 2006 and 2007 under the US government's temporary guest worker program. The suit accuses Signal International and its recruiters of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act.
The class action claims Signal International lured workers with false promises of permanent resident status and forced them to live in inhumane conditions and then threatened them if they protested. Workers gave up their life savings, sold family jewelry, and paid up to $20,000 in immigration and travel fees after being assured that the company would help them to become permanent residents of the United States. The suit claims workers were forced to live in overcrowded guarded bunkhouses at Signal International, with inadequate toilets and unhygienic kitchens that frequently made them ill.
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