Americas & Beyond | October 2008
|Mexican Workers in U.S. During WWII Can Get Back Pay |
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Chicago – Mexican laborers in a World War II-era guest-worker program can soon apply for money that was withheld from their paychecks and sent to the Mexican government.
|The Bracero program (1942 through 1964) allowed Mexican nationals to take temporary agricultural work in the United States. Over the program’s 22-year life, more than 4.5 million Mexican nationals were legally contracted for work in the United States. (Leonard Nadel)|
Chicago attorney Matthew Piers said Wednesday that a San Francisco judge approved the preliminary deal last week.
Thousands of workers known as braceros (brah-SEHR'-ohs) took agriculture and railroad jobs in the U.S. between 1942 and 1946 under agreements between both governments. Under the agreement, each bracero is eligible for about $3,500 from the Mexican government.
Former braceros based in the U.S., or their family members, can file claims starting next week at the Mexican Embassy or Mexican consulates.
Piers filed the lawsuit seeking class-action status on behalf of several former braceros who claim they were denied wages.