Foreign workers sue over living conditions

Published 12:11 am Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A federal lawsuit alleges foreign workers on temporary visas in Mississippi were forced to live in storage buildings and were not given the jobs and pay they were promised.

Ten Brazilians sued two companies Monday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport, accusing the labor recruiters of racketeering, breach of contract and fraud.

The lawsuit against Knights Marine and Industrial and Five Star Contractors LLC seeks class action status to cover all workers brought to the United States by the companies in 2006 and 2007.

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The companies had no immediate comment when contacted Monday.

The workers allege they paid thousands of dollars to come to Mississippi in hopes of high-paying jobs that didn’t materialize.