Skip to comments.Firm Owner Arrested in Immigration Raid (Making Backpacks for US Military)
Posted on 03/06/2007 9:49:04 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
BOSTON (AP) A leather company owner was arrested during a raid at his company Tuesday and accused of hiring hundreds of illegal immigrants to work in poor conditions so he could meet the demands of $91 million in military contracts.
Francesco Insolia, 50, and three top managers were arrested after federal agents raided Michael Bianco Inc. in New Bedford on Tuesday morning. About two thirds of the company's 500 employees were detained by immigration officials for possible deportation, authorities said.
U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan accused Insolia of exploiting the illegal immigrants to maximize his profits on the military contracts to make backpacks and safety vests for soldiers.
Sullivan said workers were paid about $7 to $7.50 per hour and Insolia set up "deplorable conditions," including docking employees for being late, and fining them $20 for spending more than two minutes in the bathroom or talking while working.
"It's the typical sweatshop you read about ... in the early 1900s," Sullivan said. "These were the deplorable conditions that these workers essentially had to endure under."
Insolia was released after his court appearance and declined comment. His wife, Suzanne Thompson, said Sullivan's characterization of the company as a sweatshop was "horrifying."
"None of that is true," she said.
Most of the suspected illegal immigrants were women from Central America, officials said. The Massachusetts Immigration & Refugee Advocacy Coalition denounced the raid, and planned emergency support and a vigil for affected families Tuesday.
Michael Bianco Inc., founded in 1985, specialized in manufacturing high-end leather goods for retailers including Coach Inc. and Timberland Co. before landing a $9.4 million military contract in 2003 to make survival vests. Between 2004 and 2006, it won $82 million in military contracts to make products including lightweight backpacks.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.myway.com ...
Now I'll respond, "That's the going wage where you are from!"
The Rats want to give the aliens welfare and healthcare, a free education, and affirmative action.
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