clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chocolate Factory Investigated For Enslaving Foreign Tourists

New, 8 comments

The Department of Labor and the State Department are both investigating a Pennsylvania chocolate packing plant for Hershey's after hundreds of foreign exchange students walked out on summer jobs last week. It seems actual chocolate factories aren't as exciting as Willy Wonka would have one believe: the students claim they were held to strenuous work hours and low pay. The wages weren't nearly enough to pay back the money — as much as $6,000 — most of them had paid to acquire their work visas.

The J-1 visas the tourists used were supposed to allow them into the US to work for a few months and then travel around the country for a month, which, not surprisingly, they also couldn't afford.

They say the chocolate makers threatened them with deportation when they complained about the situation. What, you mean they didn't expect to spend their summer moving 50 pound boxes of chocolate in the middle of the night? Here's a video of several of the students, as well as local union workers, explaining what happened:

Video: Hershey's Foreign Workers on Their Experience

· U.S. Checks Conditions for Workers in Walkout [NYT via Gawker]
· Hershey's Foreign Workers on Their Experience [YouTube]
· All Chocolate Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day