On October 20, agents of the National Police arrested a cattle rancher in Ejea de los Caballeros for have five irregular workers exploited labor. The man, of Spanish nationality and 50 years old, has been charged as alleged perpetrator of a crime against workers’ rights and, in addition, a sanctioning file for non-compliance with immigration matters, salary, working hours, vacations, overtime, occupational health and safety.
The investigation began last September when the Provincial Brigade of Foreigners and Borders of the Higher Police Headquarters of Aragon, in collaboration with the Labor and Social Security Inspectorate of Zaragoza, proceeded to inspect a cattle farm located in the capital. from the Cinco Villas region. They were working at the facilities five people in an irregular situation in Spainto that they carried out tasks of handling machines, feeding, medication and care of animals in conditions that infringed their basic labor rights, without a contract, without training, sin the mandatory rest and without adequate prevention of occupational risks, nor anticovid measures among other infractions.
For this reason, the officials of the Central Unit for Illegal Immigration and Document Falsehood Networks (UCRIF) in Zaragoza proceeded to arrest the businessman, who is being investigated for a Crime against Workers’ Rights.
The employer took advantage of the immigrants’ lack of resources and ignorance of the current legislation to offer them work, knowing their irregular situation. Thes five victims had a ten-hour workday each day with only fifteen minutes of rest during Six days a week. In addition, without having received training, they were in charge of specific activities in the care of the animals.
In addition, no one provided them with individual protection equipment, or anticovid prevention measures such as masks, gloves, hydroalcoholic gel …, each worker having to buy the material with their own money and the five of them were without having received any dose of the covid vaccine -19.
The consequences of working in such dire conditions were not long in coming. Two of them suffered injuries to the fingers where fungi appeared as a result of the manipulation of the chemicals that they put in the food and the medicines that they administered to the animals, having to go to a pharmacy to buy some creams with their money and start a treatment. Another worker dropped a farm cellar art print, causing a large cut on his left hand, leaving him with a scar.
Despite the injuries, none of the workers decided to go to a health center to be assessed correctly since they were afraid that their irregular situation in Spain would be known. Furthermore, the businessman had them insisted that if they had an occupational accident and they were to be assisted, they should not say that they worked and omitted that the injury had occurred in the work environment.
Four of the workers started their activity on the farm a year ago, while another landed at the company just a week ago. None of them had vacations, although they “enjoyed” ten days of leave.
The situation of need of these workers led them to accept conditions lower than those legally recognized, without formalization of any labor contract, depriving them not only of the remuneration established by legal provisions and collective agreements, but of future social benefits, without extra pay and receiving of the businessman cash in an envelope at the end of each month.
All the proceedings were sent to the competent Court of Instruction of Ejea de los Caballeros, the detainee being released after giving a statement, with the obligation to appear before the Judicial Authority when required.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.