Several dozen welders performing contract work under temporary visas signed a petition protesting their poor living conditions and irregular hours. The worker who delivered the petition to the employer was threatened with deportation and then fired that day. The NLRB issued complaint and scheduled a trial, but before it began, the parties settled with the worker receiving $13,000 in backpay.
Five Star Contractors supplied skilled laborers from Brazil and other countries to work in shipyards on the Gulf Coast under contract to Signal International LLC. The workers said recruiters promised free lodging, 40-hour weeks, and plenty of overtime pay, but that instead they were charged $75 a week to live in storage buildings and never worked a full week.
In February of 2008, several dozen workers signed a petition demanding better living conditions, full-time work and reimbursement of travel costs to the United States. Moises S. was selected to deliver the petition to supervisors while the other workers stood behind him. He said he was immediately threatened with deportation and then fired 20 minutes later.
Assisted by a local nonprofit group, the Alliance of Dignity for Guest Workers, the workers filed a charge with the NLRB Regional Office in New Orleans. Following an investigation, the Regional Director issued a complaint alleging that Five Star violated federal labor law by threatening and then firing Moises S. The parties settled in August, with Moises S. receiving about $13,000 in back wages for the time he would have worked had he not been fired.