Fresh Del Monte settled lawsuit alleging labour contractor had discriminated against workers

Fresh Del Monte settled lawsuit alleging labour contractor had discriminated against workers

Fresh Del Monte Produce has agreed to settle a lawsuit accusing the US company of discrimination against Thai workers working for it in Hawaii.

According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Global Horizons, a labour contractor for Fresh Del Monte, "engaged in conduct that constituted national origin and race discrimination, harassment and retaliation" in their treatment of farm workers. The EEOC said the charges related to a three-year period from 2003-2006.

Fresh Del Monte has agreed to pay US$1.2m, to be distributed to the Thai claimants. The company has also agreed to adopt "comprehensive protocols and accountability measures" to ensure all farm labour is employed in compliance with federal regulations, the EEOC said. 

The agency commended Fresh Del Monte's stance and insisted that the group has set an example for equality standards to the US agricultural industry.

"We are hopeful that this resolution will provide a model for the agricultural industry to ensure that farm contractors comply with anti-discrimination laws," said EEOC general counsel David Lopez.