Democracy Now reports this week that 300 Eastern European and Asian foreign exchange students became “captive labor” at a Hershey’s packing plant in Palmyra, Pennsylvania.
According to Amy Goodman’s report, the students were required to “lift heavy boxes, work eight-hour shifts beginning at 11 p.m., and stand for long periods of time while packing candy on a fast-moving production line.”
The students, who had come from countries such as Turkey, Ghana, Mongolia, and Ukraine, paid up to $6,000 to participate in the cultural exchange program at Hershey but instead, according the Los Angeles Times, found themselves “living in “economic captivity,” forced to pay for mandatory company housing that left them with $40 to $140 a week for 40 hours of work.”
“They were desperate and feeling isolated,” says National Guestworker Alliance communications director, Stephen Boykewich.
Apparently, not everything Hershey’s does turns out sweet.
What are your thoughts about this?