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Ready-made Salads Processing Plant: Use of Third-party Migrant Workers

Provided by IFC Sustainable Business Advisory

Ready-made Salads Processing Plant, United States


A vegetable processing plant in the United States has 100 permanent workers and 300 contract workers. The contract workers are placed at the factory by a recruiting agency. The factory management prefers this arrangement since the plant is in an area where it is hard to find workers willing to take seasonal work. The agency brings migrant workers to fill the demand. It is responsible for recruiting and transporting the workers, and for train­ing and paying them. The factory supervisors and permanent workers are from the local area and speak English. They are well aware of their rights under US labor law and feel that the factory is a good place to work. They feel that there is a challenge in working with many of the contract workers, who only speak Spanish and do not seem to have the same level of skills and awareness of their rights.


  • Discrimination against contract or migrant workers
  • Forced labor/human trafficking


  • Decrease company’s reliance on temporary workers
  • Use only legally accredited recruitment agencies
  • Develop adequately defined hiring and remuneration policies and terms of employment for contract/migrant workers; communicate policies to workers, supervisors, managers and recruitment agencies
  • Ensure organizational labor policies are understood by the recruitment agencies; make policies contractually binding under the service agreement with recruitment agencies
  • Periodically monitor and audit recruitment agencies’ labor performance as per the organi­zation’s own policies and procedures and local law


  • Make sure that contract/migrant workers are informed (in all applicable languages) on their rights including wages, benefits and deductions
  • Agree with recruitment agencies on reasonable deductions for housing, transport and other services provided to contract/migrant workers
  • Make sure all contract/migrant workers receive contracts and periodic clear records of pay calculations in their native language
  • Implement a complaint management resolution mechanism accessible to both perma­nent and temporary workers
  • Periodically talk to contract/temporary workers on complaints and opportunities


  • Reimburse workers for any illegal deductions made by recruitment agencies
  • Retroactively pay workers whose compensation didn’t met legal minimum wage (or agreed contract value if higher than legal minimum)

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