Statement on Associated Press Report of Labor Violations in Hawaiian Fishery
WASHINGTON, DC September 7, 2016 — NFI members have zero tolerance for human trafficking and or labor violations.
Some workplace exemptions have historically allowed certain sectors to fill jobs that would not otherwise have been maintained by domestic workers. These exemptions can be mutually beneficial but these exemptions should not exclude laborers from basic workplace protections.
U.S. law enforcement has a responsibility to act to protect individuals whose rights might be violated and who might be placed in harm’s way by illegal actions.
We encourage law enforcement to act quickly and forcefully to address accusations of trafficking and or human rights abuses.
For some perspective, the AP article highlights that some workers in a 700 crew fleet are alleged to have been abused. According to NOAA the employment impacts of all U.S. fisheries total 744,850 jobs. For the vast majority of those jobs labor abuses are not being alleged.
–National Fisheries Institute