Originally published July 30 2012
Monsanto defrauded GM corn field workers, lawsuit claims
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Monsanto, the most evil corporation in the world (http://www.naturalnews.com/030967_Monsanto_evil.html), 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."
Cardenas et al. are seeking damages under the Agricultural Worker Protection Act, as well as unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act. They are being represented by Kathryn Blair Craddock with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid.
Monsanto operating corrupt slave-labor plantations all across AmericaJust a few months later in the same year, Monsanto cronies conducted another sinister recruitment effort in the Arizona border town of San Luis. 16 migrant workers from Yuma County, which included a 13-year-old boy, were recruited in similar fashion to come to Indiana to de-tassel corn in exchange for free housing and specific wages.
Just like what happened with Cardenas, these workers arrived in Indiana to discover that they had been scammed. Except in this case, many of them not only did not receive pay, but they also lacked food and proper safety equipment, which caused many of them to become injured and sick. (http://farmworkersforum.wordpress.com)
An underage girl living in Illinois was also electrocuted last fall while working in Monsanto fields. 14-year-old Jade Garza was de-tasseling corn with her friend when she touched an apparently electrified irrigator and was killed instantly. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com)
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