By Oumaïma Fassi Fihri
Rabat – Five Moroccan workers have filed a lawsuit against an allegedly abusive Spanish agricultural firm in France.
According to Moroccan media outlet H24 Info, the lawsuit, filed with the labor court in France complains of “abusive and unlawful treatment” by Laboral Terra, a Spanish temporary employment agricultural firm.
The workers declared they were victims of “slavery” and blackmailing. The company allegedly required its employees to work additional hours without compensation and refused give workers paid leave or compensate for job risks. Employees also could not take weekly days off, and the employer failed to declare workplace injuries.
The farms, located in the south of France, specialize in the processing and packaging of fruits and vegetables.
One of the workers claimed in a statement to H24 Info that she had to work every day for up to 12 hours per day for a monthly salary ranging from €300-1,500. The firm’s management allegedly threatened the workers with deportation if they complained.
Laboral Terra also allegedly regularly ended workers’ contracts without prior notice.
The “posted workers,” workers sent by their employer to another EU country, now demand a salary adjustment of €13,800 and indemnities of €37,000, the re-classifying of their contracts to permanent contracts, and €6,500 in damages.
The firm’s lawyer, Charlene Martane, argued that, in this case, the Spanish law should be applied, as the contracts were written and signed in Spain following Spanish standards.
Hundreds of people gathered yesterday in support of the workers, in solidarity with their fellow employees who did not sue out of fear. The protest was organized by the union of posted workers in France (CGT).