In regional news, the FSM government lodged a formal request to the U.S. government for assistance in investigating reports of alleged human trafficking and labor abuse committed against Micronesian workers who were recruited by a U.S.-based company.
According to the request, the workers hired from the FSM reported experiencing serious and sustained physical, emotional, and verbal abuse at the hands of employers from Seaboard Triumph Food, a pork processing facility located in Sioux City, Iowa.
The workers allege that the company issued false social security numbers and withheld passports as a form of threat or punishment. The workers also allege performing work inconsistent with the terms of their employment contract.
In its request, the FSM government expressed extreme concern for its affected citizens and cited the Compacts of Free Association — which provides FSM citizens the right to live and work in the U.S. — and other statutes that allow the U.S. government to investigate the company and ensure compliance with federal laws.