'No rights in the fields'
During Thursday's protest, a small delegation led by Aboubakar Soumahoro
from the USB union later arrived on a bus to the Foggia prefect's office where another protest was held, with participants waving aubergines, broccoli and artichokes.
"The government has decided that saving the life of farmworkers is worth the same as saving vegetables, citrus fruit and tomatoes," the union member said. "Rights are lacking in the fields, not manpower."
Threats of a season of strikes
"We saw a minister (Bellanova) who cried in these days and said she was worried about us," Soumahoro said.
"But what we know is that no minister has ever come to see Borgo Mezzanone or Torretta Antonacci, to go to Gioia Tauro, Siberia, or Catanzaro" to see the living and working conditions of the migrants employed in Italy's southern fields, he claimed. "If the government does not respond to us, the harvest season starting from today will be marked by other strikes."
He added that if the government measures are not changed, a national assembly will be held in July in the fields of the Foggia region in which migrant farmworkers from across the country will take part.