Human Traffic Watch


In Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor on March 15, 2013 at 9:17 am

Jorge Rios is a student guestworker from Argentina. He paid $3,000 to come to the U.S. on the State Department’s J-1 visa program, expecting a cultural exchange and decent work that would let him earn his money back.

Instead, he and his fellow student guestworkers from Latin America and Asia became exploited workers at McDonald’s restaurants in PA.

They faced threats, stolen wages, grease burns up and down their arms. Their employer Andy Cheung charged them $300 a month to live in basements of houses he owned, packed eight to a room, sleeping on bunkbeds built for children.

“We were only used to enrich our employer,” Jorge said. “One manager told me, ‘You better remember, all we have to do is make one phone call and we can deport you back to your country at any time.’”

But Jose and the other McDonald’s guestworkers joined the NGA and fought back.

WATCH the video of how the students took action.

Then SIGN and SHARE their petition to McDonald’s to end labor abuse.

“We believe America is a beautiful country, where everyone can have respect and fair treatment at work,” Jorge said. “We decided to stand up for ourselves, for other J-1 student guestworkers, and for U.S. workers.”

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