Seed Company Sued by Migrant Workers

CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (AP) -- A major seed company is being sued by more than 30 migrant farm workers who say they were underpaid while removing tassels from corn in southwestern Michigan.

The workers, mostly from Texas, were hired in 2012 to work in Cass County. Detasseling is hot, labor-intensive work that occurs while the corn still is in the ground.

The lawsuit in Grand Rapids federal court accuses Iowa-based Pioneer Hi-Bred International and two recruiters of violating federal wage law as well as laws covering migrant labor.

The allegations include poor housing, unsafe transportation to the fields and inadequate water.

Pioneer Hi-Bred denies the allegations, although a court filing last week says all parties "remain open" to a settlement.


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