The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Maryland Boss Steals Wages from Mexican Workers

Sep 27, 2021

A seafood packing house owner on Maryland’s Eastern Shore grossly underpaid Mexican workers on short-term visas, according to his September guilty plea in a federal case.

Captain Phip’s Seafood for years would apply to immigration authorities for permission to hire workers from Mexico for certain specific summer jobs with set wages such as operating ice-making machines. But once the workers arrived, owner Philip Harrington would also have them do other jobs that normally paid significantly more, such as shucking oysters and driving trucks. But he would only pay them at the low rate. Harrington also pled guilty to deliberately hiring nearly 90 undocumented people to work in his family’s two hotels in Ocean City and a number of other family businesses.

Thirty years ago, Mexican workers sued the same family for stealing their passports, not paying overtime, ordering them not to leave the workshops or company housing without permission, and threatening to drive them back to the border if they complained.

Over 30 years, nothing changes, even when the same bosses are found guilty over and over.