WASHINGTON, DC (KCAU) – The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has requested the U.S. State Department to investigate a Sioux City business.
The U.S. embassy of FSM issued a release Friday saying many of its citizens were allegedly abused by Seaboard Triumph Foods after being recruited to live and work in Iowa. FSM President David Panuelo asked the Federal government to pursue the issue, formally requesting the U.S. Department of the State to assist in investigating the matter.
The allegations involve accusations of human trafficking and labor abuse, among other violations. Dozens of FSM citizens reported the alleged abuse after working at Seaboards Triumph Foods’ Sioux City pork processing facility.
The release alleges members of STF traveled to Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia to recruit citizens to work. After arriving to the U.S. and working, FSM citizens made the following allegations.
- Work performed doesn’t match the employment contracts
- Employers have physically and emotionally harassed employees
- Seaboard Triumph seized employee passports and withheld them as a way to threaten or punish workers
- Seabord Triumph refuses to provide copies of their contracts
Under the Compact of Free Association between FSM and the U.S., FSM says that FSM citizens have the right to live and work in the U.S. without a visa. They also say that under Section D(1) of the Law Enforcement Agreement between the two nations that the “Government of the United States agrees to conduct investigations in the United States as appropriate, to ensure compliance with U.S. law.”
KCAU 9 reached out to Seaboard Triumph Food about the allegations. They responded with the following statement:
We are aware of the allegations against Seaboard Triumph Foods. Seaboard Triumph Foods is compliant with all laws and regulations during the hiring process and remains committed to ensuring a legally compliant work environment for each member of our staff.Seaboard Triumph Food
Read the full request below: