Labor company liable for worker abuseUPDATED 10:55 PM HST Mar 24, 2014Video Transcript
the largest human trafficking case the Equal Employment Opportunity commission has ever taken on. Good evening, I'm Yunji de Nies. And I'm Paula Akana. We're talking 8 Hawaii farms and 500 workers who have complained for more than a decade about systematic discrimination and abuse... KITV4's Catherine Cruz shows us... a federal judge just ruled AGAINST the company that recruited those workers.. 49-54 They came from Thailand on a promise of good paying jobs. But they instead claimed they were badly mistreated, and underpaid. And it happened on farms run by well-known companies like Del Monte, and Maui Pineapple. - PHONER Anna Park10:35- 10: 50 "It was pretty bad .Alot of these things happened at Maui Pineapple.They were hit. they were threatened. They were deprived of basic necessities. It is very important we stand up and say this is not acceptable," A new ruling by federal judge Leslie Kobayashi allows the workers to pursue damages from Global Horizons-- a Beverly Hills recruiting company. The decision, Park says vindicates the workers who suffered discrimination, and fraud, and who were lived in fear of deportation. Local immigration attorney Claire Hanusz is still in contact with some of the workers. She's glad for some restitution even though in some cases, its taken a decade of waiting. - 632: - 6: 37 - " There remains alot of heartache beause of what has happened - Some almost gave up hope after a criminal case against Aloun farms didnt hold up. - Claire Hanusz 6:53 - 7:00 - "I am just greatful for the EEOC for continuing on this case I think it is really important for the employers to see." - PHONER Anna Park 14:10- 14:20 -This is probably one of the worst case scenarios where you have abuses by a recruiter so this is just a word of caution for any employers" The EEOC has already settled with Del Monte for 1.2 million dollars and is in the profess of finalizing settlement details with Mac Farms of Hawaii, Kauai coffee company Capt Cook coffee company and Kelena Farms. The case against Maui Pinapple company is still on going. The workers have not been paid any money as of yet. A jury trial to set damages against Global Horizon is set for Nov. 18th. The company could not be reached for comment. back to you.