The Moroccan workers said that their employers did not comply with the French labor code and overworked them.
Rabat – Four Moroccan agricultural workers in France have filed complaints against their employers for exploiting them.
The Moroccan workers testified yesterday at French labor court, the Conseil de Prud’hommes in Arles, southern France, saying their conditions were close to “slavery.”
The workers, three women and one man, who came to France as temporary workers with a Spanish temp agency named Laboral Terra, are demanding a requalification in their employment contract to make it open-ended, known in France and Morocco as “CDI.”
The workers, aged 36-48, harvested fruits and vegetables but accused their employers of overworking them. They explained that they do not get paid overtime, paid leave, or compensation for work accidents, a violation of the French labor code.
One of the women plaintiffs told French news outlet France3 that their situation is “no longer temporary work but slavery.”
“Many other people were in the same situation but did not dare to speak for fear of being sent back to their countries,” she stated.
It is the second time that the same workers have come before the labor court to testify about their situation. They met their employers in trial in October and yesterday, they came to hear the court’s decision.
The Spanish temp agency, however, said that the workers’ complaints were way out of proportion to the problem.
The situation, albeit not including sexual assault complaints, is reminiscent of the situation of Moroccan seasonal workers in Spain who filed complaints against their employers for sexual assault in May 2018.
The assault complaints made international headlines and prompted Morocco’s Ministry of Employment to carry out an investigation on the Spanish farms and take precautions by sending commissions to Spain this year to avoid a repeat of last year’s sexual assaults.