Federal officials in Los Angeles have announced that Del Monte Fresh Produce has agreed to pay some US$1.2m to more than 100 Thai farm workers who alleged that they had suffered discrimination while working in pineapple fields in Hawaii.
The lawsuit was first filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2011, charging that labour contractor Global Horizons Manpower and several farm defendants had engaged in illegal practices such as discrimination and harassment of Thai workers.
Del Monte's Hawaii-based subsidiary used Global Horizons for three years between 2003-2005, the Federal release stated.
In addition to the US$1.2m settlement, Del Monte also agreed to partner with the EEOC to back employment rights and protect farm workers – a move praised by the EEOC.
The EEOC said that Global Horizons and one of the six farms in total named in the case had yet to settle, and would be going to trial in February next year,