imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Justice served with stiff penalties against fraudulent teacher recruiter

by PM, AJLPP, Bantay-LA, EPCC Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 at 5:55 AM

We, members of the Filipino community and different Filipino-American groups here in the US, extend our congratulations to the hundreds of Filipino teachers for their victorious struggle against their deceitful recruitment agency Universal Placement Inc. (UPI) and its owner Lourdes Navarro. We are happy that after four years of brave and sustained efforts on different fronts and winning different battles along the way, the case has reached the federal court which found these defendants liable for engaging in fraudulent practices.

Justice served with ...
4-fefl-officers_-with-aft-officers-and-pm-rep.jpg, image/jpeg, 320x213

In the federal class suit against Los Angeles-based UPI and Navarro, the jury awarded the teachers $4.5 million in damages for violation of the California Employment Agency, Employment Counseling and Job Listing Act; for violation of the Unfair Business Practices under the California Business and Professional Code; and for misrepresentation under the California Civil Code.

We commend the persistent efforts and unwavering resolve of the Filipino Educators Federation of Louisiana (FEFL) who spearheaded the efforts on behalf of all the teachers. We also applaud the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the law firm Covington and Burling LLP and other advocates who supported the teachers in their quest for justice.

From 2007 to 2009, more than 300 teachers from the Philippines were recruited and deployed in different school districts in Louisiana to teach science, math and special education under the H1B visa program. After a selection process in the Philippines, the UPI’s shady recruitment scheme required each teacher to pay an amount of more than $5,000. The recruiters made it appear that this is all that they will have to pay. However after receiving the initial payment, the recruiters demanded more and more for different kinds of fees and charges.

Having sold their properties and borrowed money to cover for the initial excessive payment, the teachers cannot back out as the recruiters would not refund those fees. The recruiters would then threaten to give their slots to other applicants if additional payments were not made immediately. In violation of the laws of the Philippines, the state of Louisiana, and now it is proven that it violated the laws of the state of California as well, each teacher ended up paying an exorbitant amounts of $16,000 and even more.

This is a ground breaking class action lawsuit and this should serve as a strong message to shady labor contractors who prey on the vulnerabilities of foreign workers whose main aim is to provide a brighter future for their respective families. Migrant workers rights should be respected, defended, and promoted as fervently as any human right. We should not allow these greedy recruitment agencies to deceive and take advantage of the dreams of migrants for their children and their families.

While the decision fell short in not finding that UPI and Navarro violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, we believe that what they orchestrated was a human trafficking scheme that systematically victimized hundreds of Filipino teachers and their families. Human trafficking is the recruitment and transportation of human beings for commercial exploitation by means of force, fraud, threats, deception, coercion or other means. Trafficking is characterized by taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of victims and can include different forms of exploitation such as forced labor or involuntary servitude among others.

Indeed, here there were no physical force or violence employed to coerce the teachers, but certainly another type of force was used - a force that is equivalent to economic duress. UPI and Navarro utilized different coercive and fraudulent methods to threaten serious economic harm to these teachers and their families who are already deep in debt by virtue of the exorbitant fees they were made to shoulder.

We strongly believe that the jury erred in this regard. Simply because the experiences of these Filipino teachers are not to the degree that involves violence or forced labor, it does not mean that this case is not a case of human trafficking. While our common notion of trafficking involves loading humans into the back of a van at gun point or coercing women and children into sex slavery, trafficking in any form is trafficking and should be punished to the utmost degree. The fact that what happened to these teachers does not fall into our ordinary notion of trafficking, does not diminish the atrocities of UPI, PARS and Lourdes Navarro.

At any rate, this is a big victory for the teachers who are now free from the onerous contract forced upon them by these labor contractors, which was declared void by the court. And the $4.5 million in damages is a potent lesson that UPI and Navarro will surely learn from. Further, this is a victory for all migrant workers and an inspiring story of sacrifice, courage and unity.

Joint Press Statement
December 18, 2012

Partido ng Mangggagawa (Labor Party) - USA
Alliance-Philippines (AJLPP)
Bantay - Los Angeles
Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC)

Signed:
Ian Seruelo
US Liaison Officer
Partido ng Manggagawa (Labor Party)
www.partidongmanggagawa2001.blogspot.com


Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Jewish “Defense” League: Nazis in Skull-caps A07 11:13AM

Nuke Shutdown News 3/17 A01 4:13PM

RELATIONS STILL STRAINED BETWEEN SOUTH LOS ANGELES RESIDENTS AND THE POLICE M22 3:22PM

Elect a Green to Congress in Los Angeles M15 2:18AM

Prop. H Activists March on Hollywood to House and Help the Homeless M01 1:46PM

Prop. H Activists March on Hollywood to House and Help the Homeless M01 1:09PM

Prop. H Activists March on Hollywood to House and Help the Homeless M01 12:19PM

24TH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES WOMEN’S THEATRE FESTIVAL HONORS COMPOSER MEGAN CAVALLARI ON MARCH F24 2:40PM

Activists Mark 150 Years Since Chimney Rock Massacre F21 7:00PM

Indivisible local events F16 4:07PM

Help Wanted: How You Can Act Locally To Stymie Trump’s Agenda F16 11:24AM

RACE RELAY - race relations dialogue F16 7:01AM

LA County Greens Oppose S F09 8:52PM

Our Revolution L.A Organizing Meeting F08 12:23AM

First We Marched. Now We Huddle F06 10:54PM

Indigenous, Sacred Lands Disrespected at L.A. Women's March J24 1:52PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 8:22PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 8:00PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 7:42PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 6:04PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 5:48PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 5:30PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Ils ont voté, et puis après ? A27 10:56PM

The Shortwave Report 04/28/17 Listen Globally! A27 4:55PM

This Week in Palestine, April 21, 2017 A27 3:12PM

Puerto Rico Oversight Board Meets as Bankruptcy Deadline Approaches A27 7:19AM

San Diego based "strike force" Still Heading to Korea A26 8:09PM

California won its first major battle over `sanctuary cities' A26 5:40PM

Puerto Rico Religious Leaders Call for Bankruptcy Ahead of "Vulture Fund" Deadline A25 6:55AM

The Missile Attack Ordered by Trump is a Serious Crime A25 5:55AM

"Train to Zakopane’ Starring Tanna Frederick World Premiere at Jewish Film Festival A24 4:22PM

Polish citizens attacked by electromagnetic weapons - Opoen letter to European Commission A23 11:50AM

Video: March for Science, April 22, 2017, 4 hours A22 3:05PM

Social Security works. Don't let Trump destroy it A22 2:25PM

Get The Internationalist No. 47! A21 8:39PM

The Shortwave Report 04/21/17 Listen Globally! A20 4:45PM

Reich USA A19 9:03PM

Reich A19 8:56PM

Trumponomics: Failure Pre-Programmed A19 7:37AM

Global Economic Risks Ahead Warns International Monetary Fund A19 6:49AM

IMF Warns of "Protectionism" and Risky Investing A18 7:44AM

Rigged reform - Oxfam Media Briefing, April 12, 2017 A17 6:51AM

Les élections du capital et du système A17 12:20AM

San Diego warships leading charge against North Korea A15 4:09PM

Source, encodeur, signal, décodeur, destinataire A15 3:42AM

Illegal Purchase Of Execution Drugs As Ark. GOP Gov Hutchinson Seeks To Murder 8 Prisoner A14 12:14PM

Puerto Rico Oversight Board Mediates Last Ditch Debt Negotiations A14 7:25AM

Poverty Returns with Misguided Policy A14 4:50AM

La mémoire des vaincus, les vrais vainqueurs A14 3:57AM

The Shortwave Report 04/14/17 Listen Globally! A13 4:59PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy