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Mexico: Extreme labour precariousness impacts on maternal health of women agricultural workers in the fields of Agricola Sacramento company.

Informative note: "Maternal death in agricultural fields", 23 April 2021

...Margarita left three years ago from the community of Xicotlán, municipality of Chilapa, due to the lack of work and the violence imposed by organised crime groups in the municipalities of José Joaquín de Herrera and Chilapa...She had been working for two seasons in the agricultural field of El Gallo, belonging to the Sacramento company in Guasave, Sinaloa. She lived in room 523 in Batamonte where Margarita is lying today...She managed to get paid 2,000 pesos a week, when she was doing well, but regularly there are not many tasks during the week...Her three girls have not had the opportunity to study, because it is difficult to go to school when the parents have to be in the fields...During this year 162 people went to the agricultural field El Gallo, where the indigenous woman Naua Margarita Bartolo Fermín died...

In a large number of fields, labour exploitation is extreme, without the benefits that by law are due to them being made effective. In 2019, the Federal Labour Law included the obligation for the National Minimum Wage Commission to set a professional minimum wage for agricultural workers, taking into account the risks inherent in the work carried out and the characteristics of the day labourer's families...

As a result of these efforts, on 16 December 2020, CONASAMI approved an increase in the minimum wage for agricultural worker of 30 per cent over the current minimum wage, to 160.19 pesos. For the agricultural worker population, this small increase is of no relevance, because in practice they earn more by working on a piecework or piece-rate basis. It is an unequal struggle because within CONASAMI, the employers have the upper hand, and they are not willing to give up their profits in exchange for a wage increase for the workers?

[Non-officially translated summary]

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