Alabama firm apologizes to mistreated Indian guest workers
NEW ORLEANS - An Alabama-based oil rig repair company is apologizing to Indian guest workers it lured to the Gulf Coast on false promises and housed in squalid conditions.
The apology is part of a $20 million settlement Signal International of Mobile, Alabama, agreed to in July, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. SPLC sued Signal on behalf of the guest workers.
Signal hired roughly 500 Indian welders and shipfitters after Katrina in a rush of repair work from storm-damaged oil rigs.
But the workers were lured to Mississippi and Texas with false promises of permanent U.S. residency and paid $10,000 or more to recruiters. The workers also accused Signal of forcing them to pay $1,050 each a month to stay in overcrowded and dirty trailers.