Italy - Labour exploitation in tomato industry - October 31, 2017

According to court documents, two of the country’s biggest food companies have been implicated in labour abuses of migrant workers picking tomatoes bought by thousands of European consumers every week. Prosecutor Paola Guglielmi named food giants Mutti and Conserve Italia as benefiting from ‘conditions of absolute exploitation’ in the country’s hugely lucrative tomato industry, as part of an investigation into the death of a seasonal labourer. Through a far-reaching investigation, the prosecutor checked telephone records, tapped phone calls and conducted aerial surveillance to link the exploitation of seasonal migrant workers to industrial giants. While workers make an average of €30 a day in the Puglia region, they can expect to lose up to half of that just to pay for food, transport, water and a cut to their gangmaster. A trade union spokesperson said that, next to transparency, stricter rules are necessary for the control of suppliers.

Read on: in English …   Details, in Italian …

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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