Trial to begin in John Pickle Co. lawsuit

Sunday, September 7th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The trial of a lawsuit by a group of immigrant workers who allege they were held in "virtual slavery" by a Tulsa manufacturer kicks off tomorrow.

The court battle is expected to be watched closely in Oklahoma as well as Louisiana, where a similar lawsuit is pending.

In Tulsa, the lawsuit names the John Pickle Company, which used to manufacture oil-refining equipment.

Indian immigrants expected permanent jobs and high wages. Instead, their lawsuit says, they were confined to a factory dormitory, classified as temporary trainees and making less than four-or five dollars an hour. The company denies the allegations

The lead attorney in the case, Kent Felty, is involved in a similar lawsuit against a construction company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.