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Hershey's a Dick

You prolly already heard this story. Hershey got a bunch of foreign students over here for the summer as part of a cultural exchange program. Well, the cultural exchange turned out to be working in their packing plant 7 days a week for very little money while being housed in small, shared rooms that Hershey is making the students pay for out of pocket.

These are medical, engineering, and economics grad students. They thought they were going to be working in the Hershey offices learning about business management and things of that sort. Plus, earning money to pay for the sightseeing they'd doing during their days off. Suckers.

Here's an article with more details.

Students like Mr. Ureche, who had paid as much as $6,000 to take part in the program, expected a chance to see the best of this country, to make American friends and sightsee, with a summer job to help finance it all.
The students, who were earning about $8 an hour, said they were isolated within the plant, rarely finding moments to practice English or socialize with Americans. With little explanation or accounting, the sponsor took steep deductions from their paychecks for housing, transportation and insurance that left many of them too little money to afford the tourist wanderings they had eagerly anticipated.

Program documents and interviews with 15 students show that Cetusa failed to heed many distress signals from students over many months, and responded to some with threats of expulsion from the program.

You know what this description reminds me of? The sweatshops in China. No need for human rights advocates to go all the way to China to find unhealthy work conditions. Just head out to Palmyra, PA.

The article is pretty long. The part that really ticks me off is the response from Cetusa, the group that was in charge of bringing these students over.

Rick Anaya, Cetusa's chief executive actually had the nerve to blame the unions.

"It's clear and obvious to me that this whole thing was started and fueled by the unions," he said.
Mr. Anaya said he was convinced the demonstrators had been "misled and sold a bill of goods that is unfair to them" by the labor groups. "I do believe in the kids," he said. "I believe eventually they will feel sorry for what they did."

I can't figure out if he's delusional or just a jackass. I think mostly B and a little of A.

Mr. Anaya [Cetusa's chief executive] said he was aware that the work in Palmyra was strenuous. "It is hard to lift," he said. "But they get used to it and they are fine with it after a week or so."

I'd like to see him work in the plant for 2 weeks and see how he feels then.

And knowing they needed to appease everyone, Cetusa and Hershey concocted this token gesture:

Cetusa responded to the protest by arranging for students to have a paid week off from the plant and by paying for two trips to historic sites in Pennsylvania. The Hershey Company hosted a daylong visit to its headquarters so students could learn about its business strategies.

Thanks. That was totally worth the $6,000 they shelled out to participate in the program. They got to see 2 historic sites, got a one day visit to the Hershey headquarters, and 3 months of packing Hershey's chocolates into boxes. Are there any shmoes i can trick into paying me thousands of dollars for the privilege of working for me?

Hershey's a dick and people should boycott their products especially during Halloween and Christmas.

By min | October 18, 2011, 2:15 PM | Liberal Outrage

Reference from SuperMegaMonkey

Remember those foreign students Hershey tricked into working in their little sweatshop? I thought, "Hershey's a Dick!". Today, I found out Amazon's got a literal sweatshop in Lehigh, PA. Mebbe it's just the way things are in Pennsylvania. If you...    Read More: Mebbe That's Just How They Roll in PA