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Immigrants Accuse Oil Giant of Labor Abuses

ALBUQUERQUE (CN) - Twenty Indonesian workers claim that oil rig services giant Schlumberger and a staffing company, RigStaff, conspired to get visas for them and other countrymen by using a smokescreen of false information. The workers say the companies violated the terms of the visas, underpaid them and stiffed them for overtime.

The visa applications claimed the workers would be employed directly by RigStaff for at least $12.53 per hour, and $18.80 per hour for overtime, in Farmington, N.M.

But the workers say they took orders from Schlumberger managers and employees, were forced to work in variety of jobs, were paid low day rates, rather than hourly rates, without overtime, and were sent to a variety of worksites within and outside the state.

And they say that a contract between Schlumberger and RigStaff stated that Schlumberger had the right to fire them without cause.

The plaintiffs seek damages for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violation of wage and labor laws. They are represented by Jerome Wesevich with the Equal Justice Center in Albuquerque.

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