Migrant workers sue seed company
A major seed company is being sued by more than 30 migrant farm workers who said they were underpaid while removing tassels from corn.
The workers are mostly from Texas and were hired in 2012 to work in Cass County.
De-tasseling is hot, labor-intensive work that occurs while the corn is still in the ground.
The lawsuit in Grand Rapids federal court accuses Johnston, Iowa-based DuPont Pioneer and two recruiters of violating federal wage and migrant labor laws.
The allegations include poor housing, unsafe transportation to the fields and inadequate water.
DuPont Pioneer was formerly called Pioneer Hi-Bred and is part of Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont Co.
The seed company denies the allegations, although a court filing last week says all parties "remain open" to a settlement.