Bicycle maker attempted to hide 350 employees from inspectors

The Mexico City firm faces fines for violating the order that nonessential businesses close for the coronavirus

A bicycle manufacturer attempted hide over 350 employees at a Mexico City factory during an inspection to verify that the company had halted production during the coronavirus emergency, city officials said.

Mexico City Labor Minister Soledad Aragón Martínez said the workers were discovered when managers at Bicicletas Benotto refused to open certain doors in the factory during an inspection on Friday.

“Our inspectors noticed that there were hidden workers. And the [Benotto] staff attending them didn’t want to open some doors. Our inspectors are authorized to supervise the entire work area,” she said.

The inspectors called for assistance from the city’s Administrative Verification Institute (Invea) to require Benotto to open up.

“When Invea arrived, they threatened to shut the factory down because it’s not an essential activity, and that’s when they were forced to open the doors and there were over 350 employees hidden there,” said Aragón.

She added that the Labor Ministry is reviewing the nature of the fines the company will face for violating labor laws. Her department has carried out 13 workspace inspections, in which three businesses were forcibly closed: a call center, a store and the Benotto factory.

Benotto, founded in Italy in 1931, has been manufacturing bicycles in Mexico since 1953.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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