The term "coolie" refers to unskilled laborers from Asia in the 1800s to early 1900s who were sent to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, North Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. The term usually referred to Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Korean laborers and was often used in a derogatory way. In India, "coolie" refers to porters who work at railway stations. In Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and other parts of the Caribbean, as well as Sri Lanka and South Africa, the word is considered an offensive racial slur on par with "n*gger." In the British Empire, a "coolie" was an indentured labourer with conditions resembling slavery. Chinese coolies contributed to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad in the United States, as well as the Canadian Pacific Railway in Western Canada, but many of the Chinese laborers were not welcome to stay after its completion. California's Anti-Coolie Act of 1862 and Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 also contributed to the oppression of Chinese laborers in the United States.