Guestworkers at Walmart Seafood Supplier Strike Amid “Slave” Conditions

Guestworkers at a Walmart seafood supplier based in Louisiana went on strike Monday, June 4th, to protest abusive working conditions, including rat-infested housing, long hours without overtime pay and threats made against workers and their families to intimidate them from organizing.

The workers are in the United States with H-2B visas, which allow foreign nationals to work temporary, non-agricultural jobs if the employer can demonstrate that “there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to do the temporary work.” Forty guestworkers from Mexico work at C.J.’s Seafood peeling and boiling crawfish five months out of the year. The company sells an estimated 85% of its crawfish to Walmart.

Workers at the seafood company are said to work up to twenty-four hours straight without overtime pay. They pay $45 of their earnings per week to live in crowded trailers with vermin and no air conditioning, according to one worker. These conditions were documented in a complaint filed last week with the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

C.J.’s Seafood’s general manager, Michael Leblanc, was cited in the complaint. Incidentally, Leblanc also heads the Crawfish Processors Alliance, which is fighting the Department of Labor’s efforts to improve pay for H-2B guestworkers.

On Wednesday, eight striking guestworkers were joined by activists with organizations like the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice and the National Guestworker Alliance at a rally outside a Sam’s Club, where they called on Walmart to uphold the dignity and human rights of workers within its supply chain.

This post was written by Kurt Scott.

  • http://www.facebook.com/debbie.kieselryan1 Debbie Kiesel-Ryan

     WAY TO GO WORKERS!!!!!

    • jake da snake

      its just a matter of time before our nation of pharmacutically induced zombies wake up and start gorging on their hosts

  • 2much

    One question….the ONLY crawfish I have seen in walmart comes from china….never sny packaged from this company, at least not in florida..

    • Anonymous

      I read that it’s Sam’s Club, which services small business.  It’s probably sold to restaurants.  My guess is that WM might just be an intermediary.

  • Anonymous

    Slavery will never be eliminated in the U.S. while giants like Walmart and the Koch brothers continue to purchase our government.

  • Anonymous

    When free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.  Ronald Reagan, 1980
    If capitalism is fair, then unionism must be.  If men have a right to capitalize their ideas and the resources of their country, then that implies the right of men to capitalize their labor. 

    The right to join a union of one’s choice is unquestioned today and is sanctioned and protected by law.  -Harry S. Truman 

    • Anonymous

       The good folks of WI disagreed with your union thug tactics. Even 40% of union households voted against you. You are an endangered species.

      • Anonymous

        If unions are such an endangered species why does Walmart management shake in their boots whenever their is any hint of union activity?

      • Mdhi2001

        You give yourself way too much credit, I was speaking of you as an endangered species. Wal-Mart has been under attack by the unions for 20 plus years with no success. Y’all have spent MILLIONs of dollars of your members money and gotten one election which you lost two to one. The Wal-Mart management laughs at you, You really think they are shaking in their boots at you? Now that is funny, I don’t care who you are. Did you not see the recent election in WI?

      • Anonymous

        “ I was speaking of you as an endangered species. ” 
        Who are you?  I replied to a comment by 
        floridanativee.  Or does floridanativee make comments 
        under lots of different screen name?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gretchen-DeKok/100000174099947 Gretchen DeKok

      Gee, Paul, that’s odd that ronnie raygun would say that, seeing as he’s the one who deregulated the airlines and dissolved the ATC union.

      • Anonymous

        Reagan was a two-faced lying Republican, what do you expect Gretchen?

  • Anonymous

    because CEO Mike Duke of Walmart is running Walmart Store and make $18.7Million a Year then the all Walmart Walmart Association and won’t let all Walmart Association Work Full Time Job and won’t Provide all Walmart Association Living Income and Living Wage With Affordable Benefit and CEO Mike Duke make $140.00 an Hour then all Walmart Association make 1Cent an Hour and CEO Mike Duke of Walmart take Net Pay of $10.000.00  every two week and Spend on the Year 2013 New Car

    From Tom P Noonan

  • Anonymous

    Notice the SEIU purple shirts and the printed signs. This was a staged event. For one thing, LA has plenty of unemployed workers and needs no guest workers. They need to pay enough to get American workers and build the cost into the final price to the consumer. People on welfare and government handouts should be offered these jobs in lieu of their government handouts,

    • POWERMOUNTAIN2001

      It is MUCH cheaper for Republican business men to hire illegals and pay them slave labor wages than it is for REPUBLICAN politicians to end their welfare programs… proportionally, FAR more people are on welfare in REPUBLICAN dominated States than in Democratic states..BECAUSE BY FAR THE MAJOR SOURCE OF POVERTY IS LOW WAGES..especially for women and minorities.  PERHAPS WE NEED UNIONS TO GET REALLY AGGRESSIVE, LIKE THEY WERE BACK IN THE EARLY PART OF THE 20TH CENTURY, OTHERWISE, REPUBLICAN BUSINESS PEOPLE AND THEIR REPUBLICAN POLITICAL PROSTITUTES AND THEIR REPUBLICAN PUPPET VOTERS WILL KEEP ON LEADING US TOWARD THE SLAVE LABOR PLANTATION SOCIETY THAT REPUBLICAN DOMINATED OUTFITS LIKE WALMART HAVE PLANNED FOR US.

  • Anonymous

    President Regan fired the PATCO air traffic controllers soon after coming into office. When President Truman came into office government unions were illegal. You need to buff up on your facts there.

    • Powermountain2001

      FLORIDANATIVE… YOU NEED TO BUFF UP ON YOUR FACTS, FLORIDANATIVE… Franklin Roosevelt… a REAL Democrat in case your totally distorted understanding of history.. and apparently of a lot of other things.. leads you to think otherwise… strongly supported unionization as a means of getting the united States out of a Republican generated DEPRESSION.  Truman, aLSO A real dEMOCRAT, ALSO STRONGLY SUPPORTED UNIONS, even though he tempoirarily nationalized the railroads to keep a strike from shutting down those railroads at a critical time.. deep winter at a time when the US used proportionately FAR more coal thAN IT DOES TODAY.  In case you think the Unions then were as gutless as they are today, keep in mind that most union members had seen, with their own eyes, the violence directed against them by Republican politicians and their Republican business allies.