Migrants outside the 'Gran Ghetto', an immense shantytown in the Foggia province, after the death of two of their companions in a vast fire that began in the night. March 3, 2017 | Photo: ANSA/ FRANCO CAUTILLO
Migrants outside the 'Gran Ghetto', an immense shantytown in the Foggia province, after the death of two of their companions in a vast fire that began in the night. March 3, 2017 | Photo: ANSA/ FRANCO CAUTILLO

The trade union FAI CISL in Italy is proposing a motion in parliament that would commit the government to protect the rights of migrant workers. "The 'gangmaster' system and ghettoes are not representative of Italian agriculture," the union said.

The Federazione Agroalimentare Ambientale (FAI) of the Italian trade union CISL announced the proposal of a motion in parliament that would commit the government to taking several actions concerning the exploitative 'gangmaster' system in Italy.

"The 'gangmaster' system and ghettoes are not representative of Italian agriculture. They are a reality and an insult to us all. We are asking the political world to act in a more consistent and concrete manner," FAI chief Onofrio Rota said during the opening of the union's national congress on Tuesday, April 5, in San Giovanni Rotondo in the southern province of Foggia in Puglia.

'Protect and ensure the dignity of migrants'

The FAI CISL motion is asking above all to "protect and ensure the dignity of migrants and respect their rights," it said.

Among the actions requested are revising of administrative procedures for stay permits, completion of the mapping of informal settlements, implementing a specific clause on social conditions in the 2023 Common Agricultural Policy (PAC), promoting best commercial practices in enterprises adhering to the network of "quality agriculture", and taking action concerning migrant housing through a gradual social integration process.

Rota underscored that the motion "is already in the hands of Minister for Parliamentary Relations Federico D'Incà and several MPs. We are asking all social forces in Italy and Europe to take part."

He went on to say that this motion is "starting from here, from the Foggia area, a place of Italian excellence but wounded by illegality, to lead government work towards a struggle against exploitation and the qualification of work, since those producing food should not have to live any more in degradation and solitude."

'Social conditions in national plan 2023', says minister

Agricultural Policies Minister Stefano Patuanelli told the FAI CISL congress via video link that: "I can assure you that, starting from January 1, 2023, social conditions will be part of our national strategic plan. This is the commitment that I have taken on and that I have no intention of giving up on."

One of the pillars of the Common Agricultural Policy PAC binds access to EU funding to compliance with work condition standards.

The minister then called for a rise in attention to "avoid the spread" of the gangmaster system and work exploitation in general.

 

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