Spanish labour conditions under aim of German publication

The 'sea of plastic' in Almeria, Spain is home to a huge amount of greenhouses, where vegetables are grown that will end up in many European supermarkets. Beyond that plastic is a whole world, unknown to many. Deutsche Welle pulled back the covers on the living conditions of migrants working there in a recent publication

"It is the fifth day in a row that I've come here and no employer has shown up. It's very difficult to find work. We wait here every day from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and then go home," says Abderrazak, a 47-year-old migrant from Morocco, to the website. 

Standing by his side is Lie Jallow, a former member of the Gambian police force.

"The living conditions and the opportunity for work in Europe is just like Africa. I had never worked in a field and I never thought I would have to work in a field in my life," Jallow says.

According to local authorities, last year more than 400 boats with a total of around 12,000 migrants arrived in Almeria, supplying further labor for the region's 100,000-plus workforce.

According to Jose Garcia Cueva, an activist and union worker in the Andalusian Workers' Union (SOC-SAT), migrant workers are often exploited and lack the resources to demand better working conditions.

"The problem is that in the fields Spanish law is not respected," he says. "It is very difficult to change mentalities because employers are used to breaking the law. Workers often work without contracts or social security and are generally paid between €32 and €40 ($36-$45) a day instead of the €55 minimum wage. Many are exposed to pesticides in greenhouses."

Read the full story at Deutsche Welle.


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