Vibration machine operators also get trafficked
Do yourself a big favor, if you are in any kind of industry, chances are, there would be all sorts of machines that are being used there. It doesn’t have to be heavy industrial machines. It can be just low key, basic machinery.
Well, as you probably already know, people who are skilled enough to handle these machines work in a wide range of labor situations. Sounds good so far, right? Seem like there’s nothing out of the ordinary. It seems like everything is in order. And this is precisely the kind of situation you need to guard against because these are the types of arrangements where trafficking issues come in.
I know you’re probably thinking that trafficking has something more to do with some sort of sweat shop like women sewing garments in a hot, sweaty factory somewhere. Similarly, another mental image that you may have about human trafficking involves massage parlors in the
West Coast of the United States involving Asian women. But you’d be surprised as to how varied and how diverse human trafficking can be.
Because if you look at the essence of human trafficking, it really all boils down to getting people to do work at rates they did not consciously, willfully and clearly agree to. Somebody’s not going to jump on a plane with a tourist visa from halfway around the world to work for basically less than half the amount of money they could have made at home. That’s just not going to happen.
And unfortunately, a lot of people with very good skill sets, we’re talking about medical skills, cosmetic skills, or even legal skills, are forced to work half the rate of minimum wage in their home countries. Talk about barbaric. Talk about unspeakable. But this happens all the time.
And unfortunately, all the popular media images of sex trafficking doesn’t really do justice to the other 90% of people being trafficked because it really renders them invisible. In the mind of the run of the mill, average, rank and file American, unless you’re working in some sort of sweatshop or in a massage parlor, you really have no right to complain that you’re being trafficked. So what you’re getting paid less?
Well, that’s really short sighted thinking because, believe it or not, there are all sorts of industrial labor involving a high level of skill that involve barbaric levels of exploitation. Take vibration machine operators, for example.
These are fancy machinery. You operate them with the wrong settings and you can cause a lot of trouble. Screw around with them and there might be all sorts of problems you are creating. This is not easy stuff. This is why a lot of companies, instead of hiring local US vibration machine operators would rather deal with shady subcontractors.
These are people who recruit machine operators from places like the Philippines by promising them US wages. By the time they get to the United States, usually in California or Washington State, they get their passports taken away and they get put in a work site. And this work site’s work is done from 4:00 a.m. all the way to 8:00 p.m. every single day, all day, every day. Food, if you want to call it that, is provided and charged against these poor people’s accounts.
To get out of this slave-like conditions, people have to work three, six to even ten years. It is no surprise that it’s only been the anti-trafficking advocates who have hit the court system exposing such arrangements.
Do yourself a big favor, if you are involved in a company that contracts with labor companies for vibration machine operators, talk to these individuals. If they look like they came from another country, talk to them. Pay attention to what they’re saying. You may be involved unknowingly in human exploitation. You know what to do next.