Grim plight of the 'invisible' seasonal farm workers in France

By Tomas Statius

Mediapart and our partners in a Europe-wide investigation overseen by Lighthouse Reports have spoken to migrants employed as seasonal farm workers across the continent. In south-west France workers at farming group Fermes Larrère have made a formal complaint about their conditions to the workplace inspectorate the Inspection du Travail. They have spoken of gruelling, relentless shifts, poor housing conditions and verbal abuse. Tomas Statius reports.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

Like all good breakouts, timing is everything. It is precisely 6pm on May 15th 2020 when Juan meets up with Mariannick in a little street adjacent to the house where he has been living at Labouheyre in south-west France. This large building, with exposed beams and located in a small village surrounded by fields and pine trees, has an agreeable setting. Trees partially conceal the front of the building while at the back a bay window looks out onto a garden. But these lodgings are anything but pleasant. Inside the cupboards are broken, the paintwork is faded and the toilet blocs are stained.