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Italy: Workers protest conditions in agricultural sector following deaths of migrant labourers; unions criticise supermarket price pressures

Author: Channel NewsAsia, Published on: 9 August 2018

"Farm workers protest in Italy after migrant crash deaths", 9 August 2018

Hundreds of mostly African farm labourers downed tools on Wednesday (Aug 8) and marched from fields in southern Italy chanting "we are not slaves", protesting at conditions for tomato pickers after 16 migrant workers died in two road crashes.

The near-identical accidents within 48 hours of each other highlighted the plight of farm workers around the the city of Foggia in the Puglia region, where thousands of foreign labourers spend the summer season harvesting tomatoes, often at the mercy of recruiters sometimes linked to organised crime...

Italy's government has scrambled to respond to the outcry over the deaths...

For years, unions and associations that help migrant workers have called for a public transport system to be created around Foggia for the peak harvest season...

Italy's main farming union, the Coldiretti, criticised market pressures saying that in a €1.30 bottle of tomato sauce sold in Italian supermarkets, the tomato represented just eight percent of the price, with 10 per cent for the bottle, 18 per cent for processing and 53 per cent for distribution.

Read the full post here