The selection procedure is the first phase as Spain seeks to hire more than 12, 000 seasonal workers from Morocco.
Rabat – Spanish agriculture companies have selected 6,500 Moroccan women to participate in the red fruit harvest in Spain for the 2020 season.
Spanish news outlet El Diario reported that hundreds of women flocked to a recruitment center in Morocco hoping to be part of the campaign.
“Companies do not find enough people in Spain and come to find cheap labor in Morocco,” the news outlet said.
The news outlet quoted some of the women who filed applications for a job opportunity in Spanish farms.
“We hope to work in good conditions, we heard that Spaniards treat us well there,” one woman said.
Spanish companies ask for women to have experience in the field.
El Diario said that it is difficult for women to prove they have an experience in the agriculture sector.
“These women do not have documentation that justifies any previous years of work in agriculture. When Spanish recruiters ask them, they show their hands instinctively. A single glance at the hands of Fatima brings anyone out of doubt,” the news outlet said.
Age is another key requirement. Companies typically seek women aged between 25 and 45 years and with children that can take care of themselves while mothers are gone.
Spanish companies make sure that women have engagements that would urge them to leave Spain once the harvest is finished.
More than 16,000 Moroccans will participate in the upcoming campaign, the Moroccan Ministry of Employment announced in November.
The campaign’s organizers seek to hire 11,000 Moroccan experienced seasonal workers. The other 5,500 will be first-timers.
Situation is not always good
Despite women’s scramble for the openings, the situation in the farms is far from ideal, or as positive and rewarding as portrayed by organizers.
Several Moroccan women have recentyly filed lawsuits against Spanish farm managers, accusing them of sexual assault and ill treatment.
Earlier this year, The New York Times quoted a pregnant Moroccan seasonal worker who said that her manager “sexually harassed” her when she arrived in Spain to work.
She said that her manager “pressured her to have sex, promising her a better life and working conditions.”
When she refused, the pregnant woman said that her manager forced her to work harder.
Morocco has since set up a committee to deal with the recurring exploitation and sexual abuse complaints, vowing to prevent a repeat of previous scandals.