Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Guestworkers Call on Cooper to Stop Fraud

Striking Guestworkers Call on Congressman Cooper to Stop Fraud

Guestworkers seek support of Nashville Congressman in case against labor broker who defrauded U.S. government to import guestworkers and lease them across the South

Last week, a group of courageous workers exposed a prominent Tennessee labor broker’s manipulation of the H-2B guestworker program. In a time of economic crisis, Cumberland Environmental Resources used the guestworker program to defraud the U.S. government. The company exploited foreign workers, excluded U.S. workers, and attacked the fundamental right of all workers to organize.

Today workers accompanied by constituents from the organization Jobs with Justice will visit Congressman Jim Cooper’s office and brief staff about the fraudulent use of the H-2B visa program in Nashville, TN. Workers will call on the Congressman to take up their20case and ensure that the Department of Labor investigates Gary Lang, President of Cumberland Environmental Resources Company for fraud.

“We want the Congressman to investigate what is happening,” said Lorenzo Cotrina a Cumberland worker currently on strike. “Cumberland brought us here in debt based on false promises that have hurt us, our families and the American workers who wanted these jobs. Gary Lang should face consequences.”

“Congressman Cooper should stand up for these workers who have been cheated and exploited and stand against Gary Lang for stripping valuable jobs of dignity and labor protections,” said Megan Macaraeg of Middle Tennessee Jobs with Justice.

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