US Labor Dept. to look at conditions affecting foreign workers on American fishing vessels in Hawaii

Labor Department official said the agency is “deeply disturbed” by news reports about the long hours, low wages and inhumane living conditions suffered by up to 700 workers from Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands. The official said the agency was reaching out to other U.S  government agencies to try to figure out what to do about it. “The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that workers are treated with respect, fairness, and dignity,” said Labor Department spokesperson Jason Surbey in an emailed statement. A widely published report by the Associated Press found that some workers are held in prison-like captivity at the piers of Honolulu and San Francisco when the ships are being unloaded. When at sea, the AP reported, they work up to 20 hours a day at wages as low as 70 cents an hour. Read the story here 11:07