Thousands of South American agricultural workers could be working illegally in the south of France …
For a year, French judges are investigating a Spanish company, Terra Fecundis on the grounds that it could be working at very low cost and in disregard of social rules with thousands of South Americans working illegally in the southern fields of France.
The Justice department suspects the company of “fraud with international services.” Headquartered in Murcia, southern Spain, Terra Fecundis annually sends temporarily “several thousand people” which mainly come from Ecuador, on farms situated in the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Hérault, Gard and the Ardèche.
Slaves of the 21st century
The company sends to France, workers known as “detached”, whose use under strict conditions permitted by law, but “without respecting the social and fiscal rules which are necessary in France” said on Tuesday by the prosecutor of Marseilles, Brice Robin.
These farm workers receive a salary of 800 to 900 euros per month, higher than what they could receive in their own countries but well below French standards. The unions, including the CGT denounced for months working conditions, speaking of them as “slaves of the 21st century.”