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Migrant Legal Aid files class action suit against West Michigan blueberry farm

Blueberries
Andrew Malone
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Blueberry farmers in Michigan use migrant labor to help harvest their crops. Some residents in Sheldon Township are fighting plans for migrant housing on a nearby blueberry farm.

A migrant worker advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against a Michigan blueberry farm.

Teresa Hendricks is the executive director of Migrant Legal Aid.

She says Blue Star Farms failed to pay workers fairly.

"Workers that come up to Michigan to harvest, they're the poorest of the working poor," Hendricks says, "and so every dollar that they earn is critical to their survival."

Hendricks says Blue Star Farms shouldn't have much trouble abiding by these laws, because the protections workers have a right to are simple.

"It's simple, minimal protections for workers to make sure that they're getting paid the minimum wage and make sure they're working and living in conditions that are humane," Hendricks says.

Hendricks says Anthony Marr, the owner of Blue Star Farms, is no stranger to lawsuits.

"He was the manager of a farm that was hit in 2009 with a child labor scandal," Hendricks says.

Blue Star Farms declined a request for comment.

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