Exxon, Shell, Walmart and over 300 other corporations are reportedly getting free labor from tens of thousands of patients who are part of the Cenikor Foundation’s drug rehab program in Texas and Louisiana.
Reveal (from The Center for Investigative Reporting) reports that rehab patients have “moved boxes in a sweltering warehouse for Walmart, built an oil platform for Shell and worked at an Exxon refinery along the Mississippi River.”
Logan Tullier, a former Cenikor participant who worked 10 hours per day at oil refineries in 115-degree heat, recalled the experine to Reveal:
It’s like the closest thing to slavery. We were making them all the money.
The Cenikor Foundation claims that this free labor helps people caught in addiction. Rehab patients are required to five up two years worth of pay to cover the costs.
Records obtained by Reveal show that Cenikor Foundation staff “routinely canceled doctors’ and legal appointments in favor of sending patients to work, records show. Working up to 80 hours per week left little time for counseling, therapy or sleep.”
Some labor experts say the Cenikor Foundation’s scheme may violate the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Walmart responded in a statement: “Our expectations are that all of our vendors follow both the applicable laws and regulations as well as our standards for suppliers.”
Exxon said in a statement that it “contractually requires all of our suppliers to comply with all applicable environmental, health, safety and labor laws for themselves and their subcontractors.”
Shell refused to comment.
Get the latest breaking news video clips before everyone else with our newsletter! We do not share or sell your email address with anyone.