Bonded Labor in the Dominican Republic

Jul 4, 2010
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Every day, around 5:30 am, three and more truckloads of farm workers drive down the road from Las Lomas de Azua toward farms in the region. They are usually back around 2:30 pm. Most of the workers have taken out loans with the operators who own the trucks and contract the workers out to the farm owners. The workers pay off their debt at the rate of RD$200 per working day.
 

Ringo

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Every day, around 5:30 am, three and more truckloads of farm workers drive down the road from Las Lomas de Azua toward farms in the region. They are usually back around 2:30 pm. Most of the workers have taken out loans with the operators who own the trucks and contract the workers out to the farm owners. The workers pay off their debt at the rate of RD$200 per working day.

That is not bonded labor. This may be people working for what they have contracted for. Nice clean truck with happy people. (not that they are THAT happy but perhaps they eat today.) Perhaps illegal but you show or prove nothing about them being bonded.
 
Jul 4, 2010
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That is not bonded labor. This may be people working for what they have contracted for. Nice clean truck with happy people. (not that they are THAT happy but perhaps they eat today.) Perhaps illegal but you show or prove nothing about them being bonded.

Ringo, I used the term 'bonded labor' because that's how the dictionary defines this arrangement. I do not imply illegality, neither I'm trying to prove anything. I know many of these workers personally, as they obviously recognize me while being photographed. Of course, they are happy, because they get to work, and there's no other alternative jobs, income, or productive activity in the region.
 

AlterEgo

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In the US, a bonded employee is one who has secured insurance that will cover the employer in cases of embezzlement, theft, etc. Title of the thread confused me a bit at first because of that.

AE
 

PICHARDO

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May 15, 2003
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In the US, a bonded employee is one who has secured insurance that will cover the employer in cases of embezzlement, theft, etc. Title of the thread confused me a bit at first because of that.

AE



WHAT IS BONDED LABOUR?
Bonded labour - or debt bondage - is probably the least known form of slavery today, and yet it is the most widely used method of enslaving people. A person becomes a bonded labourer when their labour is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan.The person is then tricked or trapped into working for very little or no pay, often for seven days a week. The value of their work is invariably greater than the original sum of money borrowed.

IS BONDED LABOUR NEW?
No, it has existed for hundreds of years. In South Asia it is rooted in the caste system and flourishes in agriculture, in cottage industries, and in factories.

Debt bondage was also used as a means of trapping indentured labourers into working on plantations in Africa, the Caribbean and South-East Asia, following the abolition of the slave trade.

Bonded labourers are forced to work to repay debts their employer says they owe, and they are not allowed to work for anyone else. Various forms of force are used to make sure they stay. In many cases they are kept under surveillance, sometimes under lock and key.

There are extreme examples of chained labourers kept under armed guard in Pakistan. Poverty and threats of violence force many bonded labourers to stay with their masters, since they would not otherwise be able to eat or have a place to sleep.

WHY DOES BONDED LABOUR EXIST?
Poverty, and people prepared to exploit the desperation of others lie at the heart of bonded labour. Often without land or education, the need for cash just for daily survival forces people to sell their labour in exchange for a lump sum of money or a loan.

Despite the fact that bonded labour is illegal in most countries where it is found, governments are rarely willing to enforce the law, or to ensure that those who profit from it are punished.

Today the International Labour Organisation estimates a minimum 9.3 million are in forced labour in the Asia-Pacific region, the majority of whom are in debt bondage.


WHO ARE THE BONDED LABOURERS?

Entire families kept like cattle on farms in India, Pakistan and Nepal; migrant agricultural workers forced to remain on ranches in Brazil; and the organised export of women into domestic and sexual slavery in Europe.

Bonded labour is expanding due to poverty and the global demand for sources of cheap, expendable labour.

Anti-Slavery - Bonded Labour


Moraleja del post?

Dominicans = BAD/Slave masters

Haitians = GOOD/enslaved

Denounce Dominicans!!!

:cross-eye
 

wuarhat

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Nov 13, 2006
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Ringo, I used the term 'bonded labor' because that's how the dictionary defines this arrangement. I do not imply illegality, neither I'm trying to prove anything. I know many of these workers personally, as they obviously recognize me while being photographed. Of course, they are happy, because they get to work, and there's no other alternative jobs, income, or productive activity in the region.

That's the definition of the phrase that I learned, also. The way I learned it was actually bonded servitude. In US history it was taught that many Europeans were afforded the opportunity to pay for their passage with a contractually limited term of servitude after their arrival.
 

minerva_feliz

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May 4, 2009
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Moraleja del post?

Dominicans = BAD/Slave masters

Haitians = GOOD/enslaved

Denounce Dominicans!!!

:cross-eye

Right...except there seem to be several Dominicans in the back of that Daihatsu. Why, one is even representing PLD with his cap, another throwing up an "L".

Nice snapshot of real-life DR, OP. US $5.40 a day to pick guandules?
 
Jul 4, 2010
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Right...except there seem to be several Dominicans in the back of that Daihatsu. Why, one is even representing PLD with his cap, another throwing up an "L".

Nice snapshot of real-life DR, OP. US $5.40 a day to pick guandules?

Minerva, they're all Dominicans in the back of the Daihatsu. Actually, there are very few Haitians in the region. During harvest, the guandules are distributed among households where the peas are separated by hand from the pods. All household members participate, including children. About 4 hours of labor, between 5 to 7 people, represent earnings of about RD$250 per household. This is currently the main source of family income in the Las Lomas de Azua region.
 

Ringo

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Minerva, they're all Dominicans in the back of the Daihatsu. Actually, there are very few Haitians in the region. During harvest, the guandules are distributed among households where the peas are separated by hand from the pods. All household members participate, including children. About 4 hours of labor, between 5 to 7 people, represent earnings of about RD$250 per household. This is currently the main source of family income in the Las Lomas de Azua region.

So that every one is Clear. This is NOT "bonded" labor. Correct?

Thanks for your input Pichardo. Well done.
 
Jul 4, 2010
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So that every one is Clear. This is NOT "bonded" labor. Correct?

Thanks for your input Pichardo. Well done.

This thread is not about definitions of labor, the purpose is to illustrate life in the country, in particular Las Lomas de Azua. I live here, so it is about my home also.