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US (NY): Mexican workers accuse Putnam greenhouse of labor trafficking

Three weeks after their boss stopped paying them, two Mexican seasonal laborers claim, they escaped from a Putnam County nursery and greenhouse compound and sought legal help to recover lost wages.

Victor Alvarez Garcia and Martin Magallon Del Rio accused their boss of luring them to America with a promise of lucrative jobs and decent work conditions, under the H-2A visa program, according to a complaint filed Oct. 14 in U.S. District Court, White Plains, only to “extract their labor for unlawfully low wages.”

Their boss, Jesus Flores, is the president of Berkshire Nursery & Supply Corp. in Patterson — the business authorized to employ H-2A visa laborers — and CEO of Rosa Contracting Inc. and two similarly named businesses in New Rochelle that were not authorized to employ the men.

Flores did not respond to email messages asking for his side of the story. The H-2A visa program allows businesses to hire non-immigrant foreign laborers for seasonal agricultural work if there are no willing and qualified U.S. workers available for the jobs.

Read the complete article at www.westfaironline.com.


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