Mexico to ban subcontracting of avocado and berry pickers

Mexico to ban subcontracting of avocado and berry pickers

Mexico to ban subcontracting of avocado and berry pickers

Mexico said it would prohibit subcontracting of day laborers in the avocado and berry industries, partly to ensure companies complied with requirements under the country's trade agreement with the U.S. and Canada, Reuters reports.

Labor Minister Luisa Maria Alcalde said on Monday her ministry would publish a guideline preventing the industries from using subcontract labor for certain activities.

It would specifically prohibit subcontracting for pickers of avocados and berries.

Alcalde announced the policy in a meeting in Uruapan, Michoacan, the top avocado-producing state in Mexico.

Michoacan Governor Alfredo Ramirez, also present at the meeting, said ensuring formal employment was necessary for companies to comply with the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, as well as to settle a "historic debt" owed to day laborers.

Alcalde said the labor ministry would work with companies "to start a regularization process, so there is a level playing field, to eliminate unfair competition and promote respect for individual and collective rights."

The U.S. temporarily suspended avocado imports from the state this year after a USDA official there received threats.

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