Marymount - International School Rome
Marymount - International School Rome
Marymount - International School Rome
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Italy to target gangmasters after death of Indian migrant worker

Outcry in Italy over death of Satnam Singh.

The Italian government is to step up measures to combat gangmasters and the exploitation of migrant workers, the labour minister Marina Calderone said on Saturday.

Pledging to double the number of labour inspections on farms, Calderone said the aim was to "declare war on gangmastering", an illegal practice known as caporalato.

The gangmaster system is rife in the agricultural sector, particularly in the south, with many migrants working up to 14 hours a day in slave-like conditions.

The clampdown follows an outcry over the death of Satnam Singh, a 31-year-old Indian farm worker who died last week after being abandoned by his employers on a road in the Latina area with his mutilated arm.

Singh, who did not have a regular employment contract, was caught in a plastic wrapping machine, towed by a tractor, which severed his right arm and crushed his lower limbs.

Instead of calling for an ambulance or taking him to hospital, the man was loaded into a van and abandoned near his home, while his severed arm was left in a fruit box.

Singh's Italian employer is now under investigation for manslaughter, violation of workplace safety regulations and failure to provide aid.

The horrific death of Singh was widely condemned by trade unions and politicians, including prime minister Giorgia Meloni who described it as an “inhumane act" and stated: "I hope that this barbarity will be punished harshly”.

Italy's president Sergio Mattarella said the gangmaster system must be "totally eliminated", slamming it as "exploitation of the weakest and most defenceless, with illegal and cruel methods and conditions".

Around 5,000 people gathered in Latina on Saturday to demonstrate against the exploitation of migrant farm labourers, many of whom do not possess valid residence papers or contracts.

Following the death of Singh, his widow Soni was granted a special permit to stay, to end her illegal status in Italy.

Another protest is scheduled to take place on Tuesday in the Latina province where trade unions representing farm workers have called a two-hour strike.

Photo: Open

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Castelli H3 - 1920 x 190
Castelli H3 - 1920 x 190
Castelli H3 - 1920 x 190
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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