Migrant workers found living in terrible conditions on Limburg farm
Over 50 migrant workers were found living in appalling conditions on a farm near Linne in Limburg last week, the municipality of Maasgouw, which covers Linne announced. The people from Romania were living in far too little space, with no fire detectors or extinguishers, barricaded windows, and filthy kitchens. A "degrading situation", Maasgouw mayor Stef Strous said to ANP.
The situation was discovered during an inspection by the municipality, the Aliens Police, and the Inspectorate for Social Affairs and Employment. "We saw far too many people living in too small a space and there was a lack of safety facilities," Strous said to NPO Radio 1. The people came across as shy, he said. Their foreman displayed "intimidating behavior" towards both the civil servants and the workers. And some of the workers indicated that they had been beaten, he said.
The workers were living in one of the farm's outbuildings, and a few mobile residential units at the back of the building. Spread over the sleeping areas were almost 70 beds and bunkbeds. The building where they stayed looked old, dirty, neglected and unsafe, the municipality said. The ventilation was poor, the windows had bars, bottled gas hobs and gas burners were found in rooms where four to six people slept, escape routes were missing or barricaded, the fire alarms were not working, and there were no fire extinguishers.
The Romanian people worked as asparagus cutters on the farm near Linne. They also worked on agricultural land elsewhere in Limburg that belongs to the same owner. The municipality ordered the the owner to move the workers to better accommodations within two days. He was given a conditional fine.
The municipality was later told that the workers had disappeared. "We do not know where they are now housed. In any case, we have achieved that they are no longer in that dangerous situation," a spokesperson said to NOS. They added that the municipality is not responsible for these workers. "It sounds harsh, but that is a matter for the Aliens Police and the Inspectorate of Social Affairs and Employment. We are responsible for the housing and fire safety. We have now intervened."