Seasonal farmworkers picking tomatoes in Basilicata, Italy | Photo: Coldiretti Basilicata
Seasonal farmworkers picking tomatoes in Basilicata, Italy | Photo: Coldiretti Basilicata

About 200 seasonal workers in the southern Italian region of Basilicata are currently staying in makeshift shelters in the fields, according to a local union, which is calling for more support from the cities nearby.

There are about 200 migrant farmworkers hired to pick tomatoes who are currently living in makeshift shelters in the fields of Montemilone, Palazzo San Gervasio, Venosa and Lavello (Potenza), according to the FLAI CGIL union in Basilicata. These migrants are living "among piled-up rubbish and without running water for washing or drinking water," the union said.

FLAI CGIL Basilicata Secretary General Vincenzo Esposito called on the mayors of the towns in the area to ensure that "the basic essential services of waste collection and drinking water are provided in the ghettos."

More migrants expected at makeshift camp

FLAI CGIL said that it has been working for two weeks with the "street union" to offer assistance to foreign workers.

The farm workers' union said that they anticipate the number of farmworkers camping out in makeshift shelters to grow. According to the union, a total of 150 beds out of 200 are currently occupied at the Palazzo San Gervasio reception center. They said that once the reception center is full, there will be even more migrants "who will camp out in ghettos."

"This is not the model of reception and integration that we are promoting," union secretary general Esposito said. "The situation that has developed calls for immediate interventions to safeguard the universal human rights of these workers, such as the right to health, which at the moment is heavily compromised."

 

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