Ag Workers Sue Monsanto in Class Action

     PHOENIX (CN) - Sixteen migrant workers say in a federal class action that Monsanto did not pay them as promised and stuffed them into "unsafe, substandard and overcrowded" housing after persuading them to go to Indiana to work in the cornfields.

     The workers say Monsanto agent Ramon Cota recruited them in Arizona in June 2010. They say Monsanto promised them specified wages, an advance once they arrived in Indiana, free transportation and free housing.
     But the workers say Monsanto and Cota put them in "unsafe, substandard and overcrowded" housing that was not "adequately furnished to meet the needs of plaintiffs."
     The workers, who were hired to detassel corn, say "were not given all of the proper equipment to work in the rain and irrigation system," and that Monsanto and Cota did not pay their wages due or give them itemized pay statements.
     The workers say Monsanto and Cota violated the Agricultural Workers Protection Act and the Arizona Wage Payment Law.
     They seek unpaid wages, treble damages, statutory damages, costs and an injunction.
     They are represented by Pamela Bridge and George McKay with Community Legal Services.