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Ukranian students claim exploitation in job program

READ MORE: Ukrainian students claim exploitation in job program

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- They traveled overseas for what they thought would be a memorable, fun experience in North Carolina. Instead a group of Ukrainian students say they were forced to work more than 80 hours a week.

The three women are part of a work exchange program in which students from overseas are set up with jobs here in the US. They work, make some money, and in exchange leave with what should be a great experience. The girls, though, had a different experience in their jobs at Waves in Surf City.

"When we came it was another situation, because we worked 14 hours per day without day off, without break and without overtime," Olga Nevdakho said.

Coming up on WWAY NewsChannel 3 at 6 p.m., we'll have more of the girls' story, and we'll tell you about the local woman who stepped in to help them. We'll also hear from their employer about the working conditions at the store.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Submit a complaint

Send a complaint to the U.S. Department of State, attention Maura Pally email and Stanley Colvin email Contact Hours and Wage Division of Department of Labor, Mr. Chris Mills; tel: 404-893-4536. Any pertinent information should also be sent to Detective Claxton of the Surf City Police Department, email:

I must clarify....

Zander Guy, Mayor of Surf City, was most helpful. He provided phone #'s for me to call and listened to my story...

Thank you for the info...

I will certainly check into this immediately....

Addendum to "Maybe not the first time"

The case cited was filed in US District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, Southern Division.

Maybe not the first time they've done this?

Check the allegations in case no. 7:08-cv-137-D (public record) filed in 2008 and not yet resolved. These people are being sued for similar behavior, which may indicate a pattern of bringing non-US-citizens into their employment and abusing the labor laws of this country. Perhaps it would be useful to have an attorney check into this.

A list of every agency, individual, etc. I have contacted before

contacting WWAY..

1. CIEE, Keith Stone, Sponsor
2. Student Land Colisseum, Ukraine
3. Dept. Of Labor, Washington DC
4. Dept of Labor, Raleigh, NC
5. Dept of Immigration, Washington DC
6. Dept of Immigration, Durham, NC
7. Dept of Justice Washington DC
8. Dept of Secretary of State, Washington DC
9. Attorney General, Washington DC
10. Attorney General, Raleigh, NC
11. Human Trafficking Hotline (MAILBOX FULL)
12. Foreign Workers Exploitation Hotline (MAILBOX FULL)
13. Zander Guy (Mayor)
14. Henry Shitrit (Owner of business)

I am probably neglecting to mention something here. I was on the phone for 2 days to no avail.


what vehement comments. About the only thing not mentioned or questioned was whether yours truly had a hidden interest in the store. For the record, I do not. & for those who know all, of course you know this is one of 20 or so stores in North and South Carolina all controlled by the same group.

How hard is it to read my original post?

Go to the Department of Labor. Either the state version or the Feds. Need help, see the Mayor. He can direct you to the proper folks in Raleigh.

They'll come into the store like a Cat 4 Hurricane and bring closure to this very quickly. & they'll bring justice to all.

They'll pull the time cards; they'll calculate the amounts due; they will get the amounts due -- either in dollars or tee shirts and shark tooth necklaces.

Better do it quick though, that store has had a Business Closing Sale sign up since the day it opened.

Want to send a real message? Get everyone to boycott the store. Go to one of the other stores; but make certain it's not one also controlled by those people from Myrtle Beach.

Me -- I'll sit next store at Quartermasters; sip a beer while not on the beach; and watch the Yankees continue to patronize the store right up until the day the Labor Depratment pit bulls string some tape and signs across the door.

Another day at the Beach.

The Other Victim

The truth is, all of this is being done in that beach house ilegally! Waves does not own that home, they are renting under a six month contract. They are not supposed to be making money off the rental of the home and are not supposed to have any other residents than the one tenant, the manager. I also feel sorry for the owner of the home which is now being shown all over the news and after she gets them evicted, how is she supposed to rent again? Making the poor girls eat off the floor, the owner would string him up by his ba**s if given the chance.

Sorry to say.....

No, the owner would NOT string him up by his ba**s if given the chance. Me & the girls made the owner, Henry Shitrit aware of the living conditions, 2 weeks ago. I called the owner of the home, today, to let her know what has been going on in her home. I have just found out, also, that the closet in the bedroom the girls were staying in, was locked & they had no access to it. These girls were living like animals. WAVES has taken enough monthly rent from the girls to pay for the ENTIRE home & stick Rami's sorry a** in a bedroom with no closet,no dresser to place clothes in, small refrigerator in the room (no refrigerator at all for first week and a half)....See how Rami enjoys eating on the floor like a dog. & by the way, there were a washer & dryer available in the home for Rami, but the girls were not allowed to use them. They had to wash by hand & hang to dry....

There is alot more to this story...

This story aired on the evening news, covering the entire country of Ukraine, thanks to a reporter that called me. Yes, there is alot more to this story than what was covered on the news. These girls are not allowed to see copies of their time cards and are not allowed to know the figure that is on their check that "is waiting at the store for them". I know this firsthand, because the owner Henry Shitrit has told me this over the phone. May I include the fact that Mr. Shitrit is requesting all of the cash to be returned to him that was paid to the girls before they can see the figure on their check. He has cancelled two meetings with me & the girls. He did make one meeting, simply to say that no students "stick around" to hire attorneys. They must return to school in their country. Well, guess what, Mr. Shitrit? I will personally see to it, that they get the money they are due for working in your "sweatshop", if I have to hire an Attorney for them. & being that you threatened to "sue" me over the phone after the news was aired & that you told me "my life was ruined". I'll see", makes me think hiring an Attorney at this time would be most appropriate. One other thing, I ask you, as a very proud American, to remove that raggedy a_ _ American flag that you just placed in front of Waves yesterday. You are an American citizen, correct? Then you should know that Americans wave our flags proudly and in good shape. If you would like, I will be most happy to purchase a new American flag for you.

That story is about us! We

That story is about us! We worked 14 hours a day and we really weren`t against that, but we want to have all money for those hours of work! And this company took from our paychecks money for the rent, but earlier they told that the housing was free!!! How do you think, is it normal to pay 120$ per week for each person for one small bedroom with just 3 beds, 1 bedside table and small-small refrigerator?! We ate on the floor, because Rami didn`t let us to eat on the kitchen because of his religious!
We just want to have all our money, because that was really hard to work in that store, especially with that manager, who always screamed on us!

For free?? HA!!!!!

You can't come to America and live for free.. we Americans don't live for free, so if they did take money from you for rent then that was a just thing to do. You girls really need to grow up and stop playing on the American people for pity and hand outs ( like that lady that you are staying with). You girls came here to work and thats what you need to do, otherwise you have NO business being here. Plain and simple.

I have one I can not

I have one I can not understand what kind of pity you talking about? 3 girls want to get their honestly earned money, and this mafia wants to cheat. There is only one desire - to strike in the face Henry and Rami.
P.S. I should be in business cases in Myrtle Beach and Wilmington at the end of this month, I'll drop by to visit, OK, Henry, and SNEAKY boy Ram? I want to see in your shameless eyes! You are not men, you rags.

not looking for handouts

These girls are not looking for handouts. They just want the money that they have worked for. They came to America to work and make money. They didn't mind working 14 hour days-but they do deserve to get paid for it. They were paying $120.00 a week a piece for a small bedroom for all 3 and had to eat on the floor while Rami ate at the table because of his religion. That is $1440 a month-that is crazy. He did not allow them to leave the home unless they were going to work. They have been here all summer and didn't even see the beach until last week. These girls worked for 31 days with no day off. This is not what their contract stated. They had a contract that said 40 hours per week with free rent. Thats what they should have received. Anyone can go into that store and see how the manager treats the customers and the employees. He works illegal Hispanics in there and is overcharging customers for sales tax-which has been reported to the NC Department of Revenue.

Obviously someone who

Obviously someone who doesn't know the whole story. They came to America to work and make money-not to work 14 hour days and not get paid for it. And then to live in a small bedroom with 3 girls and eat on the floor and have to pay $120.00 a week a piece-that is $1440.00 per month to eat on the foor while he ate at the table. They were not allowed to leave their home except for work. They never saw the beach until they got out of that hell hole. They do not want handouts-they want the pay that they worked for.

It's "working" at a beach store for goodness sakes...

...if that's what you want to call it, not pulling beans out of a field, performing roofing jobs in oppressive heat or laying asphalt. Go into any of these air conditioned, Pakistani owned beach shops and you can hardly get waited on because the little teeny boppers are too busy chomping chips and texting on their cell phones.

14 hour days with no breaks? I call horse-hooey on that one! Even if they are there 14 hours, they likely don't get 4 hours of work out of them. Their whole day is a break!

I don't want to see anyone taken advantage of or labor laws violated, but I honestly doubt that is the case here. The people running those businesses aren't THAT stupid!

No they aren't stupid but

No they aren't stupid but they sure are rude as hell. I about went up there and had a word with one of them after insulting my mother. I don't care how women are treated in their home country, but you do not come to America and treat anyone the way they treat people. Neither myself or anyone else I get the chance to talk with shops at WAVES anymore

This is true, I worked with

This is true, I worked with these 3 girls, I am an employee of Waves, they got 2 hour lunch breaks and they were told they could take days off but THEY chose not to, what the people dont know is that they paid alot of money to come work in the good old USA and they have to pay that money back when they return home, so here they are making the money and then some, yet they cry and complain about how many hours they had to work... unbelievable! There are people in other POOR countries that would LOVE to come work and make money here, these girls have really taken this TOO far.

This is not true

Obviously this is either the owner of Waves-Henry or the manager-Rami. I do not belive what this person is saying-2 hour lunch breaks? I doubt it.

Sorry had to correct you ...

Sorry had to correct you ... I work at WAVES and I worked with THESE 3 girls... the store is owned by Isrealies.. not Pakistan's.

I've always wondered how

I've always wondered how some people can be so certain about everything, especially things they know s**t about. I bet you're one of them. Let me ask you - have you ever been to that store? do you know any of those people? 14 hours a day is not a joke. how many hours a day do you work? or maybe you are one of those redneck morons who stay on welfare all their lives and can't stand people who come to this country to work? why dont you try to get a job in that store, YOUR WHOLE DAY WILL BE A BREAK.


As being a former worker at waves, i believe these girls 100% I had the unfortunate pleasure of working with this manager "ramen" for only a few weeks. i had spent the past 2 summers working my ass off for also 14 hours a day all week. just because they are foreigners does not give henry the right to exploit them, which he does. i got my overtime, why cant they? there is such a deeper story to this.

YOU worked with Ziggy... YOU

YOU worked with Ziggy... YOU choose to work those hours, Ramen did not make you work those hours... these girls are NOT telling the truth and I KNOW because I do still work there.

Girls! We are with you! The

Girls! We are with you! The truth will be yours! We believe in God and justice! Health, happiness and good luck.

Justice, maybe, God, not so evident!

Justice, maybe; God, not so evident.
(totally off topic and starts the imbroglio)


If the girls were working on

If the girls were working on a formal work, they need to pay all the money, and such pseudo-businessmen held accountable for violations of U.S. laws.

stay home

I don't see why we have so many people with out jobs and still have people from other countries working over here. Then they complain about working. Somebody needing to feed their family would not be complaining about working 14 hours a day.

Wake up to the real world

This is to Stay Home.Have you ever been to Ukraine? I have,six times.Would you work for fifty bucks a month with a masters or higher education? They do. There is no goverment welfare system or food stamps,or any other(COME GET THE MONEY)!! programs that we have. These girls are solicited by these companies to come to America, make lots of money,and maybe you meet American man?? Get the picture! They don't tell them they will work like dogs, have no time off, and make the company alot of money. It is sad.

We as Americans have so many

We as Americans have so many people out of work because they don't want to get off of their lazy butts and do the jobs that are readily available to them. Instead they decide to sit around and collect unemployment and warefare. Granted there are the select few who are actually out there everyday tring.

Just my opinion.


Warefare! A true hallmark of the ignorant.

Say it again. Warefare hahahahahaha.

Say this at the top of your lungs for the real experience:
"And then, at the warefare office, they told me I couldn't get my (wait for it) WAREFARE.

I can't stop, man. It’s just too funny. Warefare. OMG. I'll just keep dragging my butt to work each day, thank you.