For years, Moroccans supplied the cheap labour for Spain's booming harvest of fruits and vegetables found throughout the markets of Europe and North America. But a new form of discrimination is making even these low-paid jobs hard to come by. ILO TV reports.
Spanish strawberries. The discriminating shopper can pick them up at any local market for nothing short of a bargain. But picking the people who pick the berries can lead to discrimination of a different sort.
The thing is, the Moroccans just don’t behave well and that’s why we have to bring in the Polish workers. The Moroccans just don’t behave well.
Cultural incompatibility is the new face of racial discrimination. According to the International Labour Organization’s new report “Time for equality at Work”. For years Morocco supplied the cheap labour for Spain’s boom harvest of fruits and vegetables found throughout the markets of Europe and North America.
Their labour was cheap but it came at a cost. Harsh working and living conditions, segregation and outright racism led to strikes by Arab workers.
Look at them now. Everyone has a car, trucks, money and now they say Arabs are scum?
A massive campaign led to thousands of migrants being legalized, including Moroccans specifically assigned to the strawberry harvest.
But they waited for the call that never came. Women from Eastern Europe were recruited to reap the fruits of what had been till now, Arab labour. At the local call center, Polish and Romanian voices join the Arabic ones calling home. And the differences are more than just linguistic.
Moroccan worker, Abdelslam
They have houses. We don’t. They have showers. We don’t. But at work, I pick 80 boxes and they pick 26....
Romanian worker Florica
... Everything is new. We have a new washing machine and a new fridge. We have everything. We have hot water, everything....
Romanian worker, Aurelia
... of course there’s a difference: our skin is white and theirs is black.
Florica and her fellow workers from Romania share a new apartment provided free of charge by the farm for which they work.
By contrast, these Moroccans pay 200 Euros a month to live in the farm storage shed...
Moroccan worker, Barak
Next year, the Polish girls come here to work with the boss and after, for us, we will go. I have papers but I don’t have work...