US-PH officials help abused Filipino workers

SAN FRANCISCO – The recent signing of a memorandum between the United States Labor Department and the Philippine consulate established a partnership to promote and defend labor rights of all Filipino workers regardless of their immigration status.

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division is working together with Philippine officials to help kababayans who have abused by their employers through wage theft.

Susana Blanco, Director of the U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division, said, “I can tell you that we have been able to put more than five-million-dollars into the hands of the Filipino workers who have been very long hours in the residential health care industry.”

U.S. officials created a program called EMPLEO PINOY which specifically helps Filipino workers understand their rights.

They stress all cases are confidential.

“We do not release that information and we’re here to protect them,” said Blanco. “It doesn’t matter what their immigration status is and if they have something to report, we’re here to assist them.”

Philippine Consul General of San Francisco Henry Bensurto Jr. welcomes the partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor because it could encourage abused Filipino workers to come forward and seek justice.

“When we talk about fair wages, when we talk of welfare – all of this sums up to one thing, which is for me the bottom line, it speaks of the dignity of the human person,” said Bensurto. “If we are able to help so this is delivered to the people then we are able to elevate humanity to its appropriate dignity.”

For more information about EMPLEO PINOY or to request for their assistance, people are encouraged to call 1-877-885-6641.

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