4 Indian workers in US hospitalised; continue hunger strike

May 26th, 2008 - 9:43 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 26 (IANS) A group of Indian workers seeking action against a US company for alleged exploitation have vowed to continue their hunger strike outside the Indian embassy here even after four of them were hospitalised. The workers, who have been on a water-only hunger strike for 11 days, are also demanding that they be allowed to stay in the US till an inquiry against their former employers, Signal International, is completed.

The New Orleans Workers’ Centre for Racial Justice, which is supporting the strikers, said that four workers-Christopher Glory, Sony Sulekha, Kachuru Dananjaya and Muruganantham Kandhasami-were hospitalised after their blood pressure became erratic.

Glory has since stabilised, re-hydrated and released from the George Washington University Hospital, a spokesman for the workers said Monday. The workers plan to continue their hunger strike for 21 days.

The guest workers on hunger strike are part of a group of 500 who came to the US on H2B visas to work for Signal International, a marine and fabrication company in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The workers claim they were brought to the US on a false promise of permanent residency and were forced to live under inhuman conditions, a charge denied by the company.

They filed a complaint in the district court of Louisiana in March. Apart from the Louisiana hearings, the Department of Justice also launched an investigation into the case in March shortly after more than 100 Indian employees of Signal walked away from their jobs.

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