FARMWORKERS’ STRIKE – FCEI-MEDITERRANEAN HOPE: “AN IMPORTANT SIGNAL WHICH SHOULD ALSO REACH ITALIANS”
Rome (NEV), 21st May 2020 – “It is not the work of the churches to adhere to or support a strike, because each must decide on the basis of his own judgment. However, as Christians engaged in social work in the GioiaTauro area – declares Paolo Naso, coordinator of Mediterranean Hope, FCEI’s migrant and refugee programme – side by side with thousands of exploited migrants and with so many Italian farmers in deep crisis, we believe that this strike tells us something.
The strike by migrant agricultural workers sends us an important signal: a significant proportion of our economy relies on the work of migrants who, aside from living in disgraceful conditions, are being exploited in a system which safeguards neither them nor small- or medium-sized producers. It is a chain of exploitation which includes migrants and Italians and, to that end – in the interests of everyone – we are seeking “regularisation” of those who work and support for clean businesses which are struggling against not only the Mafia but market forces which favour big agri-grocery groups. Today’s strike, concludes Paolo Naso – tells us that migrant workers have decided to call out this siituation and are not adversaries but allies of Italians who want clean, fair and just agriculture”.
Mediterranean Hope, the migrant and refugee programme of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy has for some months also been working in the farmworkers’ camps of Piana di GioiaTauro, implementing various social and economic initiatives to support the rights of migrant workers and improve their living conditions.