A control and inspection operation by the Committee to Combat Trafficking and Exploitation of Human Beings (CTTEP) found 40 forestry workers living in unsanitary conditions at a forestry company in the town of Ituzaingo, Corrientes.
The report by the commission, an agency of the Office of the State Chief of Staff, concluded that employees of Don Francisco’s agency (in Parajevedoa, Ituzaingo province) “lived in plastic tents, There are no bathrooms, drinking water, electricity and poor habitability”.
Each of these deficiencies can cause serious damage to workers’ health, from dehydration, diarrhea, and other illnesses caused by lack of drinking water, to the spread of infectious diseases such as salmonellosis and hepatitis A due to lack of bathrooms.
Additionally, they were forced to “work long hours with no days off,” the “employer discounted the value of their food and tools,” and the company was reprimanded by the federal judiciary for other violations, the report said.
José María Serbín, Northeast Regional Representative of the Committee against Trafficking and Exploitation of Persons, affirmed that “clear signs of labor exploitation were found, where they lived in inhumane conditions, without basic services and above wages, And working long hours with no days off.”
Based on what inspectors see and what workers say, the company could be found guilty of violating laws and regulations protecting workers’ health, such as the Labor Risks Act, which obligates employers to provide workers with safety and security. Safe and Healthy Workplaces, or the Rural Work Act, should text rural workers the right to “drinking water of sufficient quantity and quality”, bathrooms and other basic services.
The representative also noted that workers were performing tasks without proper safety and hygiene conditions, without work clothing or protective equipment, and that workers said employers deducted the value of their food and tools.
On the other hand, during a labor inspection operation carried out in Ituzaingo province, “it was verified that workers were transferred by the same company from Misiones province to the forest agency to carry out afforestation and thinning tasks”.
Inspection and Complaint
The results of the inspection were announced on Monday in the presence of José María Serbín, the NEA regional representative of the National Cabinet Office’s Anti-Trafficking Committee, and the representative of the Uatre province (Argentine Rural Union). Serbín told Télam that in this case, after the inspection, a corresponding complaint was filed with the federal judiciary. And added that workers who are free from victims of exploitation will receive benefits through the National Register of Rural Workers and Employers (Renatre).