Silicon Valley: US firm "grossly" exploits Indian workers at a dollar an hour
US labour regulators fine Electronics for Imaging, a California-based company that grossly underpaid eight workers from Bangalore for 122 hours of weekly work without overtime pay. The company ignored the state's minimum wage law, and paid the workers in rupees.

Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) - US labour authorities fined a Silicon Valley company for "grossly underpaying" eight workers from India.

California-based Electronics for Imaging paid the workers US$ 1.21 per hour, and forced them to work 122 hours a week without overtime pay.

"This is worse than anything that I ever saw in any of those Los Angeles sweatshops," said Michael Eastwood, assistant district director of Department of Labour.

The authorities imposed a fine of more than ,000 in back wages and penalties.

The eight workers were brought to the US on a special project to help the company move its headquarters from Foster City to Fremont.

Reports say the firm paid the Indian workers the same wages they received in their normal jobs in the Indian city of Bangalore - and continued to pay them in rupees.

Under US laws, foreign workers must be paid at least the minimum wage, with overtime for working more than 40 hours a week. In California, the minimum wage at the time was US$ 8 per hour.

The company said it "unintentionally overlooked" US laws on wages and overtime.

Tens of thousands of Indians work in Silicon Valley, mostly in high-tech companies.