Why is Scientology's cruise ship caught up in a lawsuit about human slavery? - 2014-04-12
In 2005, two Cuban workers showed up in the town of Willemstad, on the island of Curaçao in the Caribbean, and said they had escaped hellish conditions at a nearby drydock facility, where they'd been held for years. A third worker had made his own escape from the drydock a few months earlier.
One of the three men had worked at the facility a decade. The other two had arrived in 2001 and 2002. They said that they, along with about a hundred other men, were forced into the jobs as part of a deal to pay off Cuba's debt to the Curaçao Drydock Company. After they had arrived, their passports were seized and they had been working 112 hours a week and under dangerous conditions for only about three cents an hour. The rest of the $6.90 an hour they were supposed to be earning went to pay off Cuba's debt.
In 2002 one of the men, Alberto Justo Rodriguez Licea, fell and broke his foot and ankle when the system suspending him while he scraped rust from a hull snapped. He was sent back to Cuba, and after he healed, was then returned to Curaçao to keep working. In 2004, plaintiff Fernando Alonso Hernandez was returned to Cuba after burning his hand while welding steel. He too was returned to the drydock after he had healed.