April 18, 2013

Striking Farmworkers From Bangladesh Violently Attacked In Greece

B92 is reporting the following:

Around 200 strawberry pickers from Bangladesh went on strike, demanding their six months’ unpaid wages and then clashed with three Greek foremen, ANA news agency has reported.

One of the foremen fired shots at the workers and wounded 27 of them, the Greek police have said.

The site owner was arrested and the police are still looking for the three foremen. Two men were arrested on Thursday afternoon on suspicion of taking part in the incident.

One of the men is suspected of inciting the foremen to shoot the Bangladeshi workers and the other is suspected of helping them avoid arrest after the shooting, the local police have released.

The wounded workers were taken to a nearby hospital. Five of them suffered serious injuries.

The strawberry plantation owner owes between EUR 750 and EUR 1,000 to each worker and a total amount is around EUR 200,000.

The migrant workers in strawberry plantations in the area usually work day and night, they are poorly paid and often threatened with firearms. The employers usually take a certain amount of their wage for housing in barracks.

Strawberries are exported at very favorable prices thanks to “slave labor of migrant workers that local authorities tolerate”, Greek media have reported.

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