Charges filed against the owner and a manager including human trafficking, conspiracy to harbor undocumented persons for financial gain, and multiple violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act

A halal chicken slaughterhouse in Perth Amboy, New Jersey is under investigation after the owner and manager were both accused of keeping workers in slave-like conditions, forcing the employees, who were immigrants working illegally for $2.90/hour, to work without interruption amd further providing them living accommodations reportedly in squalid conditions according to NJ 101.5 radio station.

The halal chicken slaughterhouse’s owner Mohammad Abdul Wahid, 54, of Queens, NYC and his manager Mohammed Iqbal Kabir, 42, of the Bronx, NYC are each facing federal charges of human trafficking, conspiracy to harbor undocumented persons for financial gain, and multiple violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The slaughterhouse was closed earlier this year by health inspector while Wahid owns another slaughterhouse in Queens that is reportedly still open.

Deplorable working conditions and threats of deportation

Federal prosecutors detailed the working conditions the immigrant workers were forced to suffer at the hands of the slaughterhouse owner and his manager, including 6 or 7 day work weeks totaling one hundred hours for $2.90 to $4.00 an hour. Their employed deducted $40 per month for the bug-infested dump of a living accommodation he provided the immigrants which also lacked heat and hot water. Attempts on the part of the employees to rectify the situation were met with threats to report their illegal status to the authorities.

Each defendant denies the charges, with one retaining an attorney and the other being represented by a public defender. It is not uncommon for employers who employ illegal immigrants in their companies to use the threat of legal force or deportation to quell any kind of discontent those employees may exhibit during the course of their often substandard employment contracts with these individuals. Often these situations are proferred by handlers and other middle men who promise the immigrant worker a better life overseas. They often find that this promise is hollow and cases of this kind of abuse are not confined to the United States alone.

[NJ 101.5]