by: Joe Wright
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Seven Texas farm workers are alleging a wide range of crimes committed by biotech giant Monsanto.
Courthouse News Service is reporting that lead plaintiff Jose Cardenas has filed a lawsuit against Monsanto recruiter Milo Inc. and Milo Inc.’s president, as well as Monsanto itself.
Cardenas is one of seven field workers who are attempting to show a wide-ranging exploitation scam that made promises which were later withdrawn. According to the plaintiffs:
Monsanto promised (the) seven Texas field workers and their children free housing with kitchens in Indiana, then charged them $300 a room, exposed them to pesticides and underpaid them, the men claim in Federal Court.
The abuses also included unsanitary conditions that violated agricultural safety and health codes; among the violations, a school bus that was converted into a kitchen facility:
The workers say the bus did not have enough stoves for the number of laborers in the camp, lacked adequate sinks with hot and cold water, did not have sufficient lighting and ventilation or enough chairs and tables.
This is not the first lawsuit against Monsanto to make claims of horrific mistreatment; however, it seems to be the first lawsuit of its type filed inside the United States.
A report issued in early 2012 documented abuse of illegal workers held in ‘slave-like’ conditions on plantations in Argentina. According to the report conducted by Argentina’s tax agency, workers were subjected to 14-hour days, forced to buy from the Monsanto company store, were prevented from leaving, and in some cases received zero compensation. (Source)