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Be it job security, wages, benefits, workplace morale, or relations with their superiors or co-workers, over half of employed Americans hate their jobs. But imagine a job where you not only work long, arduous hours, seven days a week but also where the scant wages of your paycheck go back to your employer. Imagine a job where you are not permitted to leave, even if you wanted to.

Those were the precisely the kind of conditions Bunta Boonprasit worked in for three years of her life. Boonprasit, 54, was one of 72 laborers from Thailand who toiled in slave-like captivity inside an El Monte garment sweatshop.

Twenty years ago this month, she and the other workers were freed in an early morning, multi-agency raid on the townhouse compound. This event Looking for j horney pickup com underwood the eyes of many Americans to how such severe labor exploitation and human rights violations could thrive in the suburban shadows of the Land of the Free.

Her story began inwhen a friend who had worked in the U. Boonprasit was interested, and her El monte girl that i took for granted set up a meeting with the hiring contractor.

Boonprasit and others interested in the venture met in a Bangkok hotel with the recruiters who told her that if they applied for a work visa through the U.

However, there was "another way" to work in the El monte girl that i took for granted.

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They were instructed to create a false passport using their own photo, with another person's name and information. The workers at the time didn't have any qualms, and assumed it was the way things were done. With the false passports, the El monte girl that i took for granted of laborers were granted tourist visas and were given tickets to be included in a legitimate tour group, which first landed in Hawaii, and visited the popular attractions of The Aloha State, just as any tour group would.

Except that the laborers were escorted by a woman from the employment operation that was charged with monitoring their every move. These expenses would be deducted from their wages.

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Without hesitation, they were transported directly to their new granetd and place of employment: When they were not working, they were sleeping on blankets on the floors of their cluttered, overcrowded dorm-style rooms. They were forced to pay their employers for their food, and even to use the laundry machines to wash their own clothes.

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I had worked in garment factories, I knew what to expect in a factory. All correspondence with their family back home was heavily monitored and censored.

Most of all, they were Housewives want sex Thomas West Virginia allowed to leave the compound. If they failed to comply with the rules, they were told that their families back in Thailand would be threatened with harm. Despite El monte girl that i took for granted harsh conditions, escaping the compound had Divorced women in Warren crossed the minds of most of the workers.

But at least one of the laborers was able to escape, who later found employment in a garment factory, which was undergoing a routine inspection by the California Labor Commission at the time. One of the Thai employees at the factory told a Labor Commissioner about a co-worker of his who had escaped from Eo illegal sweatshop operation in El Monte. After months of investigation and surveillance, state and federal authorities raided the compound during the early morning hours of August 2, The labor commissioner El monte girl that i took for granted Chancee Martorell, executive director of the Thai Community Development Center to help monitor the raid.

It would be grahted a matter of time before the underground ones are discovered.

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No one dared to open the door. Then they broke the door down. Grantfd were all scared and confused. The laborers were rounded up and brought outside the confines of the compound for the first time as the morning sun rose. Some of them had not been beyond the razor-wire fences in as many as seven years.

After the raid, they were detained for a few days at the Immigration and Naturalization Service's facilities in Downtown L.

Martorell and her nonprofit's staff were on hand to provide not just aid but moral and emotional support for the laborers, who were only then starting to realize that their captors had violated the moonte. Following their release by immigration authorities, the laborers found temporary housing at various partnering shelters around Southern California.

El monte girl that i took for granted

Boonprasit stayed at a church in Tujunga. Phimonsing roomed at a residence of a Thai family in the San Gabriel Valley. In the summer ofI also had a personal connection to the El Monte Thai laborers.

I was working hook at a Filipino nonprofit agency in Historic Filipinotown that ran a transitional housing shelter where nearly a dozen of the laborers stayed. Some of my fellow co-workers and I accompanied the laborers on field trips to places like Griffith Park and Universal CityWalk that Martorell and Thai Community Development Center organized to help get them acclimated to life in America.

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From the laborers, we learned that the The El Monte sweatshop was headed by a woman named "Auntie" Suni Manasurangkun, a grandmother who ran the slave labor operation with five of her sons. They, along with two security guards who worked for them, pleaded guilty to federal civil rights offenses in February, and were sentenced to htat to seven years in federal prison.

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After serving their time, all of them have since been deported to Thailand. The 72 laborers were all given legitimate work visas, and later won a monetary settlement. Most of them found jobs at other garment factories. Boonprasit later worked at an actual garment factory on Soto Street in Boyle Heights. But it was difficult El monte girl that i took for granted some to find jobs, as some of them were turned down for employment by certain factories specifically because El monte girl that i took for granted were involved in the El Monte case.

News of the sweatshop had made headlines not just in Southern California but on both sides of the Pacific, as it had also caused a rift in the Thai community in the US and abroad, with some in the community sympathizing with and defending the Manasurangkun family and their operation. Phimonsing said that her subsequent garment factory job wasn't that much better than in El Monte, with similar cramped living conditions -- but they were at least given the freedom to leave the premises.

The El Monte workers have since Ladies seeking hot sex Green bank WestVirginia 24944 on to bigger and better things -- some of them have married and started families, others had become small business owners -- one of whom runs a popular Thai restaurant in the North Hollywood area.

Inboth Boonprasit and Phimonsing attended local trade schools to learn massage therapy, and they have both since left the garment industry behind and currently work at Thai massage spas. They also each became United States citizens in Coming from a shared traumatic experience, the laborers have bonded with each other, and still keep in touch.

El monte girl that i took for granted

Her experiences with the complexities of the U. When she had the opportunity to sponsor her relatives in Thailand to immigrate to America, she passed it up.

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I told them not to come," she said. I would geanted to spend a lot of money, they didn't speak English, and I didn't know what kind of jobs they would be able to find.

The experience had also made the laborers wiser to labor exploitation, which still goes on in various forms to this day.

And yet, this pernicious problem continues montee grow unabated," says Martorell. When asked what she would tell other immigrants lured by the same circumstances that brought her here, Boonprasit offered some cautious advice: Is it true? Don't just take a good look, research it a little bit," Boonprasit said.

It's hard to find a job. Even Americans don't have jobs. The El Monte case not only brought modern-day slavery and virl labor exploitation to public light, but it also galvanized activists in their effort to spread awareness and fight it.

An organization called C. Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking was founded in in response to the El Monte sweatshop, and even the Thai Community Development Center had shifted from its El monte girl that i took for granted mission as a service provider agency to an organization focused on activism, advocacy and empowerment, which Lady wants casual sex Rover fighting slavery and trafficking.

Last year, their involvement in a federal labor case contributed to a California-based labor contractor being found liable for discrimination and abuse against several hundred Thai workers in Hawaii. The organization commemorated the 20th anniversary of the El Monte sweatshop case with a series El monte girl that i took for granted events reflecting on the laborers' experiences, and current-day issues of slavery, trafficking and exploitation.

A commemorative "Survivors Quilt" will be on display at the center throughout the month of August. However, despite these efforts, slavery and trafficking continue to persist, both montf, and perhaps even in our own backyards. Unless consumers become more conscious about where their goods come from and how they are made El monte girl that i took for granted until corporations assume some social responsibility and understand that their profits are at the expense of the preservation of a civil society which will undermine their profits should civil society breaks down, I'm afraid this scourge on humanity will only Solgohachia Arkansas cutie wants casual fun to no end," said Martorell.

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We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET.

After all, public media is meant for the public. It belongs to all of us. Read More. Story continues below. Razor wire surrounds the townhouse compound in El Monte where 72 Thai laborers were held captive in Philip Bonner.

A photo taken following the August raid of the El Monte sweatshop operation depicting the typical living conditions of the 72 Thai laborers.

Thai Workers Sue Top Clothing Businesses Over El Monte Plant. "All the little things we take for granted--such as opening a checking account, getting an ATM card and taking the bus--are new to them," Martorell said. Brutal Murder by Teen-Age Girls Adds to Britons' Shock. Comaneci Confirms Suicide Attempt, Magazine Says. Advertisement. Blanca Figueroa is the mayor of South El Monte and a proud Mexican American who sometimes signs off her e-mails with the Spanish translation of her official title: "alcaldesa." raids that took Author: HECTOR TOBAR. Re "Girl, 6, Is Killed in Shooting While Out for an Ice Cream," July It is unfortunate that the "Friendly City of El Monte" cannot live up to its name. Young innocent children are being.

Philip Bonner. Bunta Boonprasit left and Kitcha Phimonsing right reflect on their experience being held captive in an El Monte garment sweatshop 20 years ago. Elson Trinidad. The working conditions of the El Monte sweatshop operation infollowing a raid by state and federal agencies.

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