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Katrina victims living in 'company town'

Jan. 22, 2006 at 9:50 PM

ARABI, La., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Thousands of workers displaced by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana are living in trailer parks set up by employers to get production going again.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that Domino Sugar refinery has set up the largest park -- a sprawling "city" of about 200 trailers that is home to 700 residents.

"We fish together, we hunt together, we drink together, and now out here in these trailers, we live together," says David Bachemin, a 56-year-old mechanic supervisor.

The refinery is in St. Bernard Parish, a predominantly white and working-class community of 65,000 east of New Orleans, which suffered the hurricane's most thorough destruction, the newspaper said.

After the hurricane, Domino determined that if it were to keep its place as the nation's largest cane sugar refining company it needed its workforce to do it.

"We are back to the days when the little towns were built up around manufacturing," says Pete Maraia, Domino's plant manager. "This the nucleus of how you rebuild a community."

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