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Calgene Unit Named in Farm Workers' Suit

CALIFORNIA | AGRICULTURE | THE STATE

February 12, 1997|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Calgene Inc.'s Gargiulo subsidiary was named in a $2-million lawsuit seeking back pay and penalties for farm workers who were allegedly forced to work "off the clock." The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose. Gargiulo, a fruit and vegetable grower, employs about 1,000 farm workers in the central coast region, about 100 miles south of San Francisco. The suit claims that workers were required to show up early for calisthenics and stay late to finish filling up boxes of strawberries, even though they weren't being paid for the extra time. A spokeswoman for Calgene, based in Davis, said the company hadn't seen the suit and, therefore, had no comment. Calgene is 55%-owned by St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. Calgene shares fell 3 cents to close at $7.41 in Nasdaq trading, while Monsanto shares lost 12.5 cents to close at $37.125 on the NYSE.

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