Recruitment agency to refund trafficking victims

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Apr 23 2011 12:42 PM | Updated as of Apr 23 2011 08:42 PM

LOS ANGELES - Adman Human Resources Placement and Promotions has been ordered by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to pay back the fees they illegally collected from a total of 14 workers in both the US and Philippines. 

The awards will range from $800 to $3,400. The workers will also be awarded between P111,000 to P274,000  each.
 
Last year, Adman recruited 14 workers in Manila to work in the hotel industry. Instead of the $8/hr salary and food they were promised in Virginia, they said they were paid less than $4.75/hr, lived in cramped conditions and were overworked in Mississippi.
 
Eleven of the workers fled to Los Angeles and have been getting by with contributions from the community. Advocates said this victory is just the first step in the ongoing battle against modern day slavery.
 
“Labor export policy is the root cause of this whole problem of coming here. And here in the US, we want to lobby the H2 visa…but there should be a strict regulation to make sure workers are really hired by the agency,” said Tony Dorano, who is helping lead the task force.
 
In the meantime, Adman agency’s business license has been cancelled in the Philippines and the workers are in the process of filing criminal charges against them. They are in the process of receiving special trafficking visas.
 
“It’ll be pathway to an adjustment of status after three years of continued presence,” explained Attorney Bert Mendoza.

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