Italy - Modern slavery in tomato fields work - April 30, 2016

A research project by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs describes a mobile, seasonal workforce in the tomato fields work, living in extreme poverty, often without water and sanitation, housed in abandoned buildings or tent cities with little or no healthcare and controlled by work gangs. The report describes how a vast army of vulnerable, often stateless North African and Eastern European migrants is controlled by illegal work-gang masters and held in slave-like conditions in rural ghettos. The calls for action come as rising numbers of migrants travel to Europe from North Africa and the Middle East, raising concerns of increased exploitation of migrant workers. Many of the workers are waiting for the state bureaucracy to process their asylum applications, leaving them with no legal right to work and with little choice but to rely on local charity or find work illegally, making them vulnerable to exploitation.

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For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Willy De Backer For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit Since June 2013 readers can consult our archive and search through all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.euYou may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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