Abused Argentine lemon workers to receive compensation - FreshFruitPortal.com

Abused Argentine lemon workers to receive compensation

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Abused Argentine lemon workers to receive compensation

An Argentine human resources company has agreed to indemnify 54 lemon farm workers in the province of Tucumán following reports of 'slave labor' conditions', website Elsigloweb.com reported.

Adecco Recursos Humanos Argentina S.A. pledged to the Secretary of Labor it would pay the workers and transport them back to their homes in the Santiago del Estero province, the story reported.

The hearing was prompted by a farm raid in the small town of Boca del Tigre, conducted by the Labor of Ministry and the Argentine Union of Rural and Stevedore Workers (UATRE).

The workers were contracted by Adecco to harvest lemons for Grupo Lucci subsidiary Citrusvil, which is one of the Southern Hemisphere's biggest lemon exporters and ships a range of citrus fruits to the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

In the raid the workers were found in a small room that was lacking in hygiene and security, with one toilet and a 'useless' wooden stove, the story reported. But what prompted the enquiry was a complaint to the Federal Court that workers' identification papers had been confiscated.

UATRE head Jesús Pellasio said another hearing was set to take place with Citrusvil managers to clarify the situation.

"Outside the administrative solution, there is a Federal Court hearing that is ongoing and will continue to be ongoing because the irregularities are extremely serious," he was quoted as saying.

"This precariousness is a consequence of the decisions of large citrus companies, that in order to lower their costs to the fullest outsourcing contracts appeal with 80% of growers working on their farms.

"With this attitude they violate the rights of workers who are robbed of their dignity."

Related story: Argentine farmers want Bolivian workers 'legalized'

'Precarious conditions' for more than 400 Argentine farm workers

Photo: Daily Record

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