Over 200 Brazil firms found treating workers as slavesBy IANS
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Brasilia, Jan 5 (IANS/EFE) The Brazilian government has said 220 firms in the country have been found to be exploiting their workers and treating them as slaves.
The labour ministry included 88 new firms on the list published earlier this week.
Since authorities began keeping figures in 2003, the list is updated every six months.
This time around 14 companies that have improved their labour practices were dropped from the roster.
Among the 220 firms that use “slave labour” are mainly agricultural plantations, sugar mills, as well as coal yards, timber companies, construction firms and textile factories.
The plantations that appear on the list are accused of exploiting their workers by making them work excessive hours, paying them below the minimum wage and forcing them to live and work amid bad safety, hygiene and lodging conditions.
The companies on the black list have to pay heavy fines, are denied credit at public banks and are prohibited from selling their products to government entities.
The government keeps companies on the list for a minimum of two years and for a firm to have its name expunged, the business leaders must pay the fines and prove that they have corrected any hiring and labour use irregularities.