Monsanto defrauded GM corn field workers, lawsuit claimsSubmitted by emalvini on Mon, 07/30/2012 - 22:27
Monsanto is the subject of yet another lawsuit in which plaintiffs claim the agri-giant lied to them and ripped them off. Courthouse News Service (CNS) reports that Monsanto recently recruited several agricultural workers in Texas with promises of high pay and free housing, but instead tricked them into working for pittance, and living in substandard housing equivalent to that found in third-world countries.
Jose Cardenas and several others say that, back in 2010, they were recruited for agricultural work near the Texas border town of McAllen by a company known as Milo Inc., which was in cahoots with Monsanto. Cardenas and at least seven others were told that if they agreed to work in Monsanto's genetically-modified (GM) corn fields in Indiana, they would receive free housing with kitchens, and would be paid $80 per acre for de-tasseling "Frankencorn."
The workers were also told that if they agreed to weed the fields in addition to removing the pollen-producing flowers from the tops of corn plants, they would receive an additional cash bonus. According to the lawsuit, Milo Inc. President Hermilo Cantu Jr., working on behalf of Monsanto, basically promised Cardenas and the others the world, which convinced them to agree to the promised terms and relocate to Indiana.
But when Cardenas and the other plaintiffs arrived in Indiana, the "free housing" they were promised turned out to be a run-down motel that "did not comply with substantive federal and state safety and health standards applicable to agricultural labor housing." The "kitchens" also turned out to be an old school bus that had been outfitted with makeshift stoves and a few refrigerators. The school bus did not have proper lighting or ventilation, and it did not have enough tables and chairs to accommodate all the workers, alleges the lawsuit.
Rather than be free as promised; however, the substandard, third-world style housing actually ended up costing Cardenas and the others $300 a piece per room. And instead of receiving the $80 per acre they were each promised for de-tasseling "Frankencorn," the plaintiffs say they were paid a rate that "when divided among crew members was less than minimum wage."