Support the Sit-In at Hershey's Factory by Student Guestworkers!
After weeks of mounting national pressure on Hershey's for exploiting J-1 student workers and depriving local workers of living wage jobs, former student workers at the Hershey's packing plant, members of organized labor and community groups are still fighting.
On August 17th, hundreds of student guestworkers from around the world were joined by unemployed American workers and labor leaders in a factory sit-in at the Hershey's Chocolate Company packing plant in Pennsylvania.
The students paid $3,000-$6,000 each to come to the U.S. this summer for what they thought would be a cultural exchange program through the State Department's J-1 visa. Instead, they found themselves packing chocolates at the Hershey's plant in deeply exploitative conditions. After automatic weekly deductions for rent in company housing and other expenses, they net between $40 and $140 per week for 40 hours of work.They talked about their struggle and asked for our support at the JwJ national conference last week.
The student guestworkers aren't the only ones who have suffered. If Hershey hadn't chosen to subcontract to have its chocolates packed by exploitable guestworkers, 400 workers in Central Pennsylvania could have had living wage, union jobs.
The students' demands:
- End the exploitation of student workers at the Hershey's plant and return the $3,000-$6,000 that the student workers paid for a cultural exchange
- That Hershey's make these living wage jobs for local Pennsylvania workers
- Send a message to Hershey's CEO John Bilbrey and call him at (717) 534-4200.
- Sign the twitter petition. Tweet: Petition @hersheys to end guestworker exploitation & create good jobs for PA http://act.ly/44n RT to sign #JusticeAtHersheys
- "Like" Hershey's on Facebook and post a comment asking them to end student guestworker exploitation & create good jobs for local PA workers.
- Call Hershey's CEO John Bilbrey at (717) 534-4200 and tell him you want dignity for student workers and living wage jobs for local workers.
- Send the workers a solidarity message.
- Contribute to the workers' solidarity fund.