April 16, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers, On a Decision in Favor of Filipino Teachers in Louisiana
An administrative law judge in Louisiana has ruled against Universal Placement International in a complaint filed with the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The judge ordered Universal, which recruited and exploited hundreds of Filipino teachers, to refund placement fees the teachers had paid to Universal. The AFT estimates the total amount could exceed $1.8 million.
WASHINGTON—This decision is a victory for teachers and for fundamental human rights. We applaud the Filipino teachers themselves, who showed great courage in asserting their rights, banding together, and challenging a company that sought to oppress them through fraud, threats and intimidation. We also applaud the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and our local affiliates in Louisiana, who stood with—and stood up for—these teachers. The decision should give pause to other companies who would consider exploiting teachers or other workers.
As the legal process moves forward, we will continue to provide support for our members and our affiliates. With this first legal hurdle cleared, we are thrilled that the teachers can focus all their attention on what they love and what they are good at—teaching students.
The decision and the LFT’s press release on it can be found at http://la.aft.org/.
# # # #
The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.