Host Ira Glass talks to reporter John Bowe about the story of John Nash Pickle, who ran a company in Tulsa, Oklahoma that made steel tanks used in the oil industry. According to 52 Indian men whom Pickle hired and brought to America, Pickle was trying to compete with foreign companies, doing something most companies never try. Instead of simply opening a factory overseas with cheap labor, the men say, Pickle decided to run an overseas factory with cheap labor...on American soil...inside his own Tulsa Oklahoma plant. (3 minutes)
We continue the story of John Pickle. He hires skilled, experienced welders in India and brings them to the United States. He takes their passports, barely feeds them, pays them half the minimum wage. And when the men protest, Pickle insists he's helping them—doing them a favor in fact. (32 minutes)
John Bowe's book, in which this story appears, is called Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy.
Thanh's story was co-produced by Dmae Roberts.