When $8 an hour is really less than nothing
Hershey candy factory cheats exchange students, in a new wrinkle on the old company store trick. Yeah, they pay you, but you pay them more.
Hundreds of foreign students on a State Department cultural exchange visa program walked off their factory jobs in protest on Wednesday.
The J-1 visa program brings foreign students to the country to work for two months and learn English, and was designed in part to fill seasonal tourism jobs at resorts and seaside towns. The 400 students employed at a Pennsylvania factory that makes Hershey’s candies told The New York Times that even though they make $8.35 an hour, their rent and program fees are deducted from their paychecks, leaving them with less money than they spent to get the visas and travel to the country in the first place.
Some of the students were assigned night shifts, and said they were pressured to work faster and faster on the factory lines.