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Hundreds of farm workers, mainly africans, who pick the tomatoes in the south of the peninsula, showed on Wednesday, against their poor working conditions.

In Italy, the anger of the convicts of the tomato

Hundreds of farm workers, mainly africans, who pick the tomatoes in the south of the peninsula, showed on Wednesday, against their poor working conditions.

In Italy, the anger of the convicts of the tomato
"Never slaves ". Wednesday, August 8, hundreds of farm workers, mostly african, have forsaken fields of tomatoes of south of Italy to show ir anger, after death of sixteen of m in two road accidents. Saturday 4, and Monday 6 August, two vans bringing agricultural workers to end of day came into collision with trucks of tomatoes : sixteen deaths and four serious injuries, all of black Africa with exception of driver of moroccan second van.

In heat and dust, dozens of m had walked for three hours on small bumpy roads of region to win city of Foggia, where ors joined m in front of prefecture. They denounce ir working conditions, lodging, as well as level of ir salaries.

Intermediate mafia

Although y are almost all in a regular situation − with a residence permit or an asylum application in course of review, collectors of tomatoes that escriment under a blazing sun often did not benefit from conditions of work and remuneration required by law. Many of se immigrants came from Africa, but also eastern Europe, are forced to stay in squats or shanty towns in open country.

If some have a work contract, y almost never have to pay slip. And many are forced to rely on intermediaries, often mafia to go on farms.

" I work 8 to 10 hours per day for 30 euros, with only thirty minutes break at noon, and I still have to pay five euros each day for transport, " reported as well as a Mali of 22 years, whose compensation appears in average of collected testimonies. In principle, branch agreements in agriculture Italian provide for a minimum wage of 48 euros gross for days of seven hours maximum.

Read also : nbsp; The Italian government passed a controversial law on job

a Lot of protesters wearing boxes of tomatoes : "You know how much are tomatoes ? The price of blood of Africans ", has launched Kogyate Diakine, an Ivorian 41-year-old settled in Italy since twelve years. "We are discouraged and poorly greeted. Here, we are nothing, " added Barri Alfa, anor Ivorian happened fifteen years ago.

The Coldiretti, main agricultural union, has, for its part, denounced pressures of market, explaining that in a bottle of tomato sauce sold for 1.30 euro in supermarkets in Italian, tomato accounted for 8 % of price, compared to 10% for water bottle, 18 % for industrial processing and 53 % for distribution.

Promise of a multiplication of controls

on Tuesday, Interior minister, Matteo Salvini (far right), who came to meet authorities, but also representatives of farm workers, has promised a multiplication of controls. "It is a problem of mafia. In province of Foggia, re is a crime mafia that I intend to eradicate street by street, village by village, by all legal means ", he warned.

The prosecutor of Foggia, Ludovico Vaccaro, confirmed to press that investigations around agricultural workforce revealed "sometimes a management by mafia-like groups" but that re was "currently no item in this direction" in investigation of two fatal accidents.

across country, some have also made link with fact that 8 August is day of sacrifice of Italian workers in world ", in tribute to victims of a mining accident, which had been 262 deaths, including 136 Italians, 8th August 1956 in mine at Marcinelle in Belgium.

" Of Marcinelle in Foggia, of coal to tomatoes. Our grandparents have suffered discrimination and exploitation, such as those who are exploited today by Italians without scruple, " said Pietro Grasso, leader of left.

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