The association Cidis is promoting a project in the area around the southern city of Caserta, in Campania, to provide bus rides to immigrant farmworkers. The farmhands get free transportation to the fields as part of efforts to fight the gangmaster system.
Free bus rides to take immigrant farmhands to work are part of a new project promoted by rights groups Cidis to fight 'gangmasters' who recruit and exploit farmworkers in the area around the southern Campania city of Caserta.
The project is called 'Agri-cultura - Coltivare Diritti', or agri-culture, cultivating rights. The gangmaster system is a widespread phenomenon in the countryside near Caserta.
The project, promoted in partnership with the Campania region and several associations, offers transportation through the Iannone bus company of Villa Literno, a town in the province of Caserta. The bus company will guarantee four free rides each day from key areas where farmhands gather at dawn to look for work and where 'gangmasters' recruit mainly farmhands, as well as construction workers, who are driven to the fields to be exploited for a few euros per hour.
The dedicated buses will depart at 5:30am to take workers near the fields and then they will take them back home in the afternoon, organizers said.
Other services offered by the initiative
The project will also include other services, such as the so-called 'three buses of dignity' to transport workers to and from their workplaces, to be activated in cooperation with unions and employers' associations, representing in particular farmers employing migrant farmhands.
Immigrant and local workers will also be offered 'transportation vouchers' that can be used on bus lines like Air Campania, which serves the area along the coast between the provinces of Naples and Caserta.
A bike-sharing service has also been started in San Cipriano d'Aversa; workers will be able to rent an electric bike by leaving a document and then bring it back in the evening when they return from work.