Union alleges mistreatment of Filipino teachers

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A national teachers’ union says it has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor over the treatment of teachers recruited in the Philippines to work in Louisiana school systems.

The complaint by the American Federation of Teachers follows similar complaints that the union’s state affiliate filed last month with Louisiana officials.

The AFT alleges that California-based Universal Placement International and its president, Lourdes “Lulu” Navarro, collected exorbitant, illegal fees — $15,000 or more — from teachers they recruited in the Philippines. The AFT also alleges  that the company holds the immigration documents of the teachers to coerce payments, in effect holding the teachers in illegal servitude.

Navarro did not return a call for comment. ♦

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