5,000 Moroccan seasonal workers blocked in Huelva for unavailability of tickets

Some 5,000 Moroccan seasonal workers working in the red fruit fields in Huelva are stranded in this port city located in southwestern Spain, and are unable to return home due to the unavailability of return tickets.

According to the Spanish press, which spoke to local agricultural sources, around 5,000 Moroccan seasonal workers working in Spanish fields in Huelva have been stranded since Friday morning in Spanish territory.

The reason is that the shipping company “ Baleria », one of the companies that operate between Algeciras and Morocco, did not provide them with tickets to the other side of the Mediterranean, for lack of an agreement this year with the agricultural companies. In addition, the company argues that even the transport was not adapted to the supply and demand of available seats.

As for the shipping company Intercity “, also used to transporting Moroccan seasonal workers to the Kingdom, she justified her inability to provide passage tickets to workers during the last strawberry season, by her inability to manage and support the enormous demand, in addition to the fact that some of its available warehouses had problems.

The blocking of Moroccan seasonal workers in Huelva, which comes on top of the many problems they encounter at their place of work, began a week ago already, before the shipping companies were informed of the number of crossings necessary and the lack of places available on board the ships while four trips per week with around 800 seasonal workers had been planned since mid-June.

That said, the launch of Operation Marhaba after two years of pandemic shutdown requires, and the arrival in Morocco of MREs by the tens of thousands, has made the transit operation of Moroccan seasonal workers from Huelva to the Kingdom even more difficult. , especially in view of the significant increase in freight rates, which reached up to 400 euros.

Indeed, within the framework of the Marhaba operation, tens of thousands of workers arrive in Algeciras with their vehicles, and those there, advance sources on the spot, are more profitable for the maritime companies which prefer to sell the tickets to those who come from Europe with family and car, rather than single women without a vehicle.

Places are therefore lacking and the large influx of workers from Europe is slowing down and hampering the normal return of seasonal workers from Huelva, via Tarifa, Algeciras and the ports of Tangier and Tangier Med.

In the last few hours, we note, however, negotiations have taken place to set up a daily ferry from midnight to be able to bring back the group of workers from the farms of Huelva.

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