In these tough economic times, many unemployed Americans are complaining our jobs crisis would be solved if most of our larger corporations kept jobs at home instead of shipping them overseas. Most companies report that finding a way to do so and still turn a profit has eluded them.
But one such corporation, Hershey’s, the chocolate candy king, has found a way to do just that, kinda. And, to please the politicians who are hell bent on taking America back to the good old colonial days when liberty and justice were words bandied about quite a bit, Hershey’s is killing two birds with one stone. It’s called indentured servitude.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of indentured servitude [as it has been banned in America for centuries] here is a quick primer. In colonial times, an employer would enter into a contract with a worker whereby passage to America would be provided, as well as room and board, so long as the ‘servant’ agreed to work an agreed-upon number of years for the employer. In most cases, the workers never really ever earned enough to get out from under the “employment” contract and were forced to work years more than the stated time in the contract to “pay off” their debts to the employer.
The only problem, actually the only problem(s) with Hershey’s plan to keep jobs at home instead of shipping them abroad are (1) the students they are bringing to America to work for them are foreign students; and (2) by the time Hershey’s takes deductions from their $8 an hour wages for housing, food and what not, the foreign students realize they could have stayed at home making $.25 an hour at some sweat shop that manufactures American goods and made more money than what they’re actually earning in America.
To be fair, the kids are getting a free ride to America to work for one of the biggest companies in the world and experience the “American” way of doing business up close and personal. That, alone, should be enough to satisfy them, but no, they’re staging a protest. Seems the foreign workers want to see actual wages for the work they do, not a pay stub that shows them having just enough left over after living expenses to cover the cost of one of the many varieties of candy bar Hershey’s makes.
The irony? It is going to cost Hershey’s a nice chunk of change in attorneys’ fees to fight the charges—money that could have been better spent legally offering minimum-wage jobs to the many American women facing unemployment who would jump at the chance to work in a chocolate factory.