Something Sour With Foreign Student Labor At Hershey Chocolates

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – When you think of Hershey, you think of the great American chocolate company headquartered in Hershey, Pa.  But earlier this month, news came out about foreign guest worker students being exploited by Hershey for cheap labor.

The students, who came to Pennsylvania through the State Department’s J-1 guest worker visa program, say that instead of the promised light work and educational experience of visiting America, they’re working in “sweat shop” conditions,  toiling on fast-moving assembly lines, packing and lifting 50-pound boxes of  chocolates, and working 4o-plus hours a week.

To make it worse, they said their wages were so low, they weren’t earning enough to pay back their expenses to come here.

KDKA AM’s Larry and John talk to Mark Troutman with the National Guestworker Alliance, a group that helps exploited guest workers.

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  • bob

    Sounds like your typical factory job. What were they expecting a Willy Wonka scenario?

  • jws

    if ya dont like your job………….get a new one

  • Thomas J Duttine

    Send them back where they came from!

  • Adolf

    Work back in Russia

  • JustSaying

    Hershey, as a company, has gotten about as far from Milton Hershey’s vision as it possibly can. Milton Hershey cared about his employees and provided for them in unique and unconventional ways. He built a model town for his employees that included comfortable homes, an inexpensive public transportation system, a quality public school system and extensive recreational and cultural opportunities. The Hershey company that we know today is all about the bottom line. They have moved much production overseas (costing American jobs) to take advantage of cheap labor so this latest issue doesn’t surprise me in the least! Hershey, despite it’s admirable beginnings and history, is not the family friendly, all-American company many think it is. It’s just another large company, nothing more.

  • Linda

    If they were making $8.35 an hour that’s more than New York minimum wage, what were they expecting, $20.00 an hour. I’d like to know what they make where they come from and why Americans weren’t hired instead of bringing in foreigners ?

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