Regularization of the «invisible»: trade unions in favor, divided entrepreneurs

twelve o’clock, May 15, 2020 – 4:58 pm

Government amnesty has a huge impact on the sector. If the patron of Op Mediterraneo applauds, the Salento Confagricoltura sees the risk of de-qualification

of Rosanna Lampugnani



Oscar Farinetti, the owner of Eataly, asks himself: do those who buy a can of peeled tomatoes at 0.45 cents know they are accomplices of those who exploit the laborers to keep those prices? This is the theme of undeclared and undeclared work in the Italian countryside, addressed by the latest Relaunch decree which deals with all the “invisible”, as Minister Teresa Bellanova defined them, that is, carers, construction workers and laborers, who, according to the In the registry office recently updated by Flai Cgil, there are 173,220 in Puglia, of which 38,000 are regular foreigners, while the irregular ones – surveyed by Flai’s “street union” – are 25,000, a figure “downward” according to the union secretary Antonio Gagliardi. In short, the decree on the one hand wants to encourage the emergence of black, Italian and foreign workers, paying 400 euros per day laborer, to which a sum will subsequently be added to remedy tax pending. On the other hand, foreigners with a residence permit expired by 31 October last are allowed to request a six-month extension, benefiting from a contribution of 160 euros. These measures exclude entrepreneurs who have convictions for aiding and abetting the corporal and immigrants who have committed various crimes; taxpayed entrepreneurs and immigrants with a history of entering Italy will benefit from immunity.

«Fair, healthy and dignified decision»

Are you all right then? The business organizations, according to which the decree will have effects only in September, would have preferred the use of vouchers, rejected by the union because it would not offer real protections, being useful only for occasional work (something other than seasonal), already used for unemployed and retirees. But there are distinctions. Marco Nicastro, former president of Confagricoltura producers of industrial tomatoes and president of the OP Mediterranean, says that “based on my experience, regularizing immigrants with work experience and expired permit is a fair, healthy and dignified decision. I have invested in job training and I trust my laborers, but why not extend the amnesty until 31 December? ». This was the goal of Bellanova, rejected by the 5Stelle. Nicastro then adds: “The corporals do exist, even the regular Italian workers are forced to submit to their diktats for travel. It is important to cross-match job supply and demand: once we used to turn to the employment offices, today we had to invent the Agrijob platform ».

Undeclared work? A legend

Undeclared work? «A metropolitan legend», according to the director of Confagricoltura Lecce and Brindisi. «Ours – Adriano Abate points out – are entrepreneurs in the clear. As for the corporals, Bulgarians, Ivorians, Romanians, they take care of the acinino countryside, not our watermelons. In fact, it is improper to talk to Nardò about the exploited, because the laborers spend two days in one, in improved conditions since the mayor in the summer banned work in the fields between 12 and 4. Instead, the non-profit organizations that flood our campaigns unprofessional workforce ».

The knot of the corporal

In reality Nardò the corporal knows him well, here the first trial was celebrated with criminal sanctions against corporal and compliant entrepreneurs. As for the exploitation of the laborers – adds Gagliardi – we got to pay 1 cent for each watermelon collected, 10 cents for Bins, the 300 kg containers of product, which are filled in 15 minutes of work, for 3 euros per hour. This is what the tomato pickers in the Foggia also earn: for a 1 Bins it takes an hour and at the end of the day of 10-12 hours of work the wages reach 35 euros, of which 10 are used to pay the sandwich, the water and transportation imposed by the corporal. On the other hand, the official contracts provide for wages of 8 and a half euros on average for each of the 6 and a half hours of work, for a total of about 55 euros, of which almost always 10 go to the corporal for transportation: «The entrepreneur should provide the service, “recalls the trade unionist, who adds:” There are no real controls, the state, in its various ganglia, should deal with this filthy plague. To understand the economic implications of this shame – concludes Gagliardi – suffice it to say that 51% of Italian agricultural businesses have problems with the tax authorities and in the Nardò area the annual turnover, only for watermelons, reaches 10 million “.

May 15, 2020 | 16:58

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