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Published on Apr 7, 2011
CREDITS: Uploaded by ISLAMIC0NTENT on 5 Dec 2008
KBR, the defense services giant, and its subcontractors have been repeatedly accused of using slave labor in Iraq. But despite the lawsuits, and despite the Congressional hearings, KBR and its business partners keep getting busted for treating its workers like little more than chattel.
The latest: "About 1,000 Asian men who were hired by a Kuwaiti subcontractor to the U.S. military have been confined for as long as three months in windowless warehouses near the Baghdad airport without money or a place to work," McClatchy reports. "Najlaa International Catering Services, a subcontractor to [former Halliburton subsidiary] KBR... hired the men, who are from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh."
*** "It's really dirty," a Sri Lankan man told McClatchy, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he still wants to work for Najlaa. "For all of us, there are about 12 toilets and about 10 bathrooms. The food, it's three half-liter (one pint) bottles of water a day. Bread, cheese, and jam for breakfast. Lunch is a small piece of meat, potato, and rice. Dinner is rice and dal, but it's not dal," he said, referring to the Indian lentil dish. After McClatchy began asking questions about the men on Tuesday, the Kuwaiti contractor announced that it would return them to their home countries and pay them back salaries. Najlaa officials contended that they've cared for the men's basic needs while the company has tried to find them jobs in Iraq. ***
Anyone care to bet how much how much KBR was billing the U.S. military for these guys?
In 2004, Indian workers began complaining that KBR had tricked them into working in Iraq -- and mistreated them, while they were there. Last year, a former KBR subcontractor told the House Oversight Committee that at least 52 Filipino nationals had been kidnapped to work on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Then, in August, a Wasington law firm sued KBR and a Jordanian subcontractor for abusing Nepalese workers. 13 young men "were recruited in Nepal to work as kitchen staff in hotels and restaurants in Amman, Jordan. But once the men arrived in Jordan, their passports were seized and they were told they were being sent to a military facility in Iraq," the Washington Post reported. "As the men were driven in cars to Iraq, they were stopped by insurgents. Twelve were kidnapped and later executed... The thirteenth man survived and worked in a warehouse in Iraq for 15 months before returning to Nepal."