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  1. #1
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    Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Puglia battles migrant 'slavery'

    Move sparked by shock report on immigrant tomato pickers (ANSA) - Bari, September 14 -

    A top southern official vowed on Thursday to crack down on the brutal exploitation of immigrant farm hands following a shock report claiming that many were working in conditions of virtual slavery .

    Nichi Vendola, who heads the regional government of Puglia on the heel of Italy, said he was horrified at the thought that "in Puglia, farm labourers can be hired illegally for a pittance and then kept in a modern form of slavery" .

    "We intend to shed full light on these shady matters where all humanity has disappeared and a segment of the labour market has been transformed into a concentration camp accompanied by atrocious violence," said the leftist governor in a speech before Italian President Giorgio Napolitano .

    Napolitano, who was in the Puglia capital city of Bari for the opening of a major trade fair, also commented on the issue, saying that the plight of the immigrant crop pickers was "beyond belief and an absurd throwback in time" .

    The phenomenon came to public attention earlier this month, when Italian journalist Fabrizio Gatti published an article in news magazine L'Espresso about how he had posed as an illegal immigrant tomato picker on several farms around Foggia in Puglia .

    Gatti described conditions in which workers were beaten and threatened and forced to toil long hours with almost no breaks, food or water .

    He said the workers were paid extremely low wages and often not paid at all .

    He said a common tactic employed by their bosses was to call in the police on pay day so that the immigrants would flee for fear of being arrested or deported .

    The reporter said many of the workers were living in the open, sleeping on old mattresses, or inside barns with no toilets, running water, electricity or cooking facilities .

    He said the immigrants were 'charged' for this accommodation by the farm owners, who deducted money from their pay .

    Gatti, who triggered a storm in October with a similar report about conditions at an immigrant holding centre on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, said that one farm owner refused to hire him because he had no immigrant girl friends to present to the boss .

    He also cited the case of a Bulgarian who was almost beaten to death after complaining about conditions .

    Gatti said the Bulgarian reported his case to the police but was expelled because he was in Italy illegally .

    He said the abuses were common across the crop-growing areas of the south and were to a lesser degree also present in the north .

    The article was followed up yesterday by a report in the La Repubblica daily saying that police in Poland had opened files on 119 Polish citizens who have disappeared in Italy over the past six years .

    The daily said the missing had come to Italy to work, most of them as crop pickers, and had subsequently vanished .

    Police in Bari are already investigating what they have termed the "anomalous" deaths of 15 immigrant tomato pickers - 14 Poles and a Lithuanian .

    Several of them were found strangled while others were found burnt, drowned or run over .

    Prosecutors involved in the probes released wiretapping evidence in which an Eastern European believed to be responsible for recruiting crop pickers is heard threatening to kill rebellious hires .

    Furious over the escape of two of the workers, the man is quoted as saying: "They cannot be allowed to behave like this. I'm going into the countryside today and I'm going to kill one or two as an example to the rest" .

    Since the Gatti article appeared, local government officials and police in Foggia have been carrying out spot inspections on tomato-growing farms .

    Dozens of farm owners have been charged with hiring illegal immigrants and some with maltreating their workers .

    The illegal workers, meanwhile, have been served with papers ordering them to leave the country .

    Interior Minister Giuliano Amato has acknowledged that the sanctions faced by illegal immigrants leave them vulnerable to exploitation .

    He said last week that he was considering amending Italy's immigration laws so that those who report cases of exploitation are granted residency permits .

    Amato and national police chief Giovanni De Gennaro are to set up a committee tasked with combating forms of immigrant exploitation .

    The committee will include members of the police and Carabinieri forces and will be presided by Alessandro Pansa, the immigration and border police central director .

    http://ansa.it/main/notizie/awnplus/...4_1148558.html

  2. #2
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Sad what people will do to others when they are at a disadvangage, like here in Amercian. Look at all the people hiring illegal mexicans. Some are treated good, some are not, though not treated badly as these workers in Italy. I think when bosses are caught hiring illegal workers they should be punished.

    As far as the cruelty being displayed here, even if it was widspread in Italy, you could bet your a$$ that our goverment wouldn't be over there giving them aid, because there's no political gain. I would just about guarantee that this goes one in lots of other places around the world, we just don't here about it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Hmmmm....are these illegal immigrants/aliens like we have swarming over here (USA)?
    Illegal is the key word here. What do you think should be done? Why dont they
    leave? Apparently they are not in chains as they scatter when payday comes and
    authorities show up. What should be done?
    Hey, I have a good idea.....why dont all these "illegal alien" friendly individuals sponsor
    one family (ever how many are in that family)? They could take them home, provide
    for them and give them shelter as long as they want it.
    Should they receive welfare/benefits etc?
    At the same time the employers should be fined for hiring aliens unless of course if it
    is leagal over there then the ball is back in the court of the illegals!
    Again, why dont they go home if they are receiveing such horrible treatment?
    I saw nothing about their being inprisoned or chained.
    They are there by choice and probably illegally as in the USA.
    Sorry, Im fresh out of sympathy for people who invade another country and undercut the jobs
    of legal citizens.
    They have chosen to be there. They have chosen to work for whatever it is they
    receive in return. The employers have tapped into a cheap source of labor thereby
    throwing legal citizens out of work. I wonder if, as in the USA, the illegals are
    subsidized through medical care, welfare, food stamps and easy mortages.
    Unless they are behind high walls and/or chained they can leave. Whats the rub?

  4. #4
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    goodwitch - I doubt the illegal immigrants are there by choice but rather neccessity. Who wants to leave their home and family to work for low wages? Desperate people. I don't disagree with you, it does have disasterous affects. I guess tightening borders to keep them out is the best idea. Maybe if the penalty for hiring them was harsh enough?

  5. #5
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Sad how many different sides to this type of story there are. There's the "their taking my jobs and their illegal and why should my taxes pay for them side," then "we're so poor in or own country and we're just trying to make a living and put food in our children's mouth side," then there's the "I can't afford to deliver cheap products and services to compete without cheap labor."

    They all have truth and merit in them. I think the best thing to do is tighten the borders, send the illegals back when you catch them and punish the people who hire the workers.

  6. #6
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    "Straightline..."
    Solvent, go to Italia and FIND these Polish 'mater pickers.


  7. #7
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Button - I agree, but how high and wide will the walls have to be to secure the borders? Ultimately, we will be walling ourselves "in". By the end of this year I will need an $80 passport (for each of us) to visit Couer d'Alene, Idaho, a trip our family has enjoyed for over 50 years. I will not complain, since you will be required to do the same to visit any destination in Canada. I may be wrong, but I don't think illegal immigrants and terrorists use the border crossings to enter any country. Passports may be a good idea, but it does nothing to solve this problem. Improving the situation for the illegal immigrants could be the answer - they seem to be everywhere.
    The United States have been vilified for it, but, they have made the effort to do exactly that. I may not agree with the method - it's not always a success - but has there been any significant act by any other?

  8. #8
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    I wholeheartedly agree. CLOSE the borders and put employers in jail if they
    hire illegals.
    But how far does the excuse of "neccessity" go??
    No one can decide that their needs are exempt from laws of the country.
    No one should recieve health care, welfare or any "perk" from a country
    in which they have "broken" into, unlawfully.
    Im sure all have seen the analogy on the net drawing a parrell between
    an illegal immigrant and a burglar.....its ok if they "need" to break into your
    house, then you must provide healthcare, welfare, clothing and then pay
    to bring all their family here....because they "needed"???? Its burlary and
    theft in either instance.
    Illegal immigrants from the south and Asia are bringing in the TB that does
    not respond to treatment. Leprosy is skyrocketing from almost non exictence
    a few years ago.
    And, of course, we all descend from immigrants. The key word is "legal".
    They were screened for disease for one thing and went through the
    system as required... were productive, wanted to be Americans and built
    this country! They entered lawfully and assimilated and became Americans.
    That is the way everyone should do and not on a sliding scale of "need".

  9. #9
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    I hear you and I agree...but that does not solve the problem. Legal is a relative term - what may have been illegal a few years ago is acceptable today because our society changes and the laws must change as well. I don't like some of the changes, but you can't please everyone.
    What would happen if the north american free trade agreement included labor (with a manditory minimum wage/benefits/housing requirements for all workers)? No need to rush the border - just sign up. It's not a ticket to stay - but an opportunity. There are jobs, obviously, since the illegals are here and working already. A blanket amnesty just won't work, imho. It sends the wrong message. How do we open the door, while keeping the screen door shut, so the flies don't get in? And what do we do about the cockroaches already inside?

  10. #10
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Quote Originally Posted by dr poormouth
    "Straightline..."
    Solvent, go to Italia and FIND these Polish 'mater pickers.

    I might have this backwards, but... isn't Southern Italy's quisine and resources geared more toward sea-food and Northern Italy the tomato producing/eating region??? I recall reading the Italian tomato products & production were more Northern oriented.

  11. #11
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Quote Originally Posted by linda49
    I hear you and I agree...but that does not solve the problem. Legal is a relative term - what may have been illegal a few years ago is acceptable today because our society changes and the laws must change as well. I don't like some of the changes, but you can't please everyone.
    What would happen if the north american free trade agreement included labor (with a manditory minimum wage/benefits/housing requirements for all workers)? No need to rush the border - just sign up. It's not a ticket to stay - but an opportunity. There are jobs, obviously, since the illegals are here and working already. A blanket amnesty just won't work, imho. It sends the wrong message. How do we open the door, while keeping the screen door shut, so the flies don't get in? And what do we do about the cockroaches already inside?
    If there is a law then it should be enforced and obeyed. There are reasons
    that there are laws about immigration.
    I fail to see why the Canadian border is treated like the Mexican border!
    There are no swarms of Canadians entering the US declaring their own
    rights to US land, rescources, language and culture. I think the passport
    issue for Canadians is ridulous. But, this is a prime example of political
    correctness run amuck. Why....we couldnt possible differentiat between
    the borders....the pc crowd is falling over backwards to make sure the
    "reconquistas" are not offended. Oh puhleeze!

    Canadians have to have a passport to come over the border but the illegals
    from the south have little problem getting over the border...what border...its
    a joke! They pour over with a stated intent not to assimilate and become
    Americans but an intent to reclaim land and change the face of our country.
    Many people refuse to acknowledge that this is an invasion not immigration.
    They swarm in, employers hire them at low wages and we the taxpayers
    are forced to provide the benefits, ie healthcare, all manner of assistance.
    Whats wrong with this picture? The illegals are getting more money than
    they can make in Mexico and sending much back into that country. And
    we are supposed to swallow that garbage? That it keeps costs down for
    food etc.??? Our costs are not low because we are picking up the tab for
    healthcare, welfare, crime, overcrowded schools and strapped local governments who with our tax dollars are forced to provide all social
    services. We are getting hosed.

    Well, didnt mean to go into such a rant but good grief, someone find some
    backbone and take our country back! English is OUR language, there are
    ways for immigrants who want to become part of our country to come in
    and become Americans and I dont even know anyone who has a problem
    with that!

    I still think my idea of giving back some land is in order.....give um Texas
    and Crawford can be their capital


    :D

  12. #12
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Actually, if the employers were forced to refuse to hire anyone who is not
    here legally, then they would deport themselves....no jobs, no problems!
    No cost of deportation for us, no more crowded schools, no more imported
    diseases, social programs could actually address the needs of Americans,
    emergency rooms could reopen....and no more "press 1 for English" on
    every friggin telephone system in the whole country :mad: :mad: :mad:
    The "cockroaches" already here would leave...on their own.

    Americaa is being drug down I hope Canada doesnt follow.

  13. #13
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Goodwitch - You may be surprised by the "ethnic diversity" in Canada. We have our own immigration problems, as well. You will be prompted to choose French or English on the phone here.....and we have many french speaking people who do not live in "La Belle Provance" Quebec and do not affiliate themselves......(my mom) for their are different dialects of french and they are not one big happy family. I'll probably be corrected here - We also have a huge East Indian population, Chinese, Japanese (if you ever come to Alberta the Japanese Gardens are a "must see") Korean, Vietnamese, you name it - we have it. Asian Gangs (that's what the newspapers call them) are a major problem. Every Carifest (Caribean Cultural Festival) there are shootings. I'ld love to say everything's wonderful here - but it just ain't so. We have alot in common. Let's stick with the passports - sadly it will mean some will not be able to afford a previously inexpensive jaunt across the border - it will be out of reach. It was a thrill for me as a child to visit the U.S. - hell, it's a thrill now. Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene last May was wonderful - had a great time - met great people - spent all our money.

  14. #14
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Quote Originally Posted by goodwitchofthesouth
    Hmmmm....are these illegal immigrants/aliens like we have swarming over here (USA)?
    Illegal is the key word here. What do you think should be done? Why dont they
    leave? Apparently they are not in chains as they scatter when payday comes and
    authorities show up. What should be done?
    No, these workers aren't illegal, Poland and Italy are both members of the EU, and any citizen of an EU country can go and live and work in any other EU country legally. Which is why in England you get Polish and Latvian builders working for £50 a day, then when they fvck off back home the tight fisted w ankers who employed them to fix their roof or plumb their kitchen in have to get English builders charging £100+ a day to re-do their shoddy workmanship. You pay peanuts you get monkeys.

  15. #15
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Quote Originally Posted by linda49
    Goodwitch - You may be surprised by the "ethnic diversity" in Canada. We have our own immigration problems, as well. You will be prompted to choose French or English on the phone here.....and we have many french speaking people who do not live in "La Belle Provance" Quebec and do not affiliate themselves......(my mom) for their are different dialects of french and they are not one big happy family. I'll probably be corrected here - We also have a huge East Indian population, Chinese, Japanese (if you ever come to Alberta the Japanese Gardens are a "must see") Korean, Vietnamese, you name it - we have it. Asian Gangs (that's what the newspapers call them) are a major problem. Every Carifest (Caribean Cultural Festival) there are shootings. I'ld love to say everything's wonderful here - but it just ain't so. We have alot in common. Let's stick with the passports - sadly it will mean some will not be able to afford a previously inexpensive jaunt across the border - it will be out of reach. It was a thrill for me as a child to visit the U.S. - hell, it's a thrill now. Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene last May was wonderful - had a great time - met great people - spent all our money.

    No, I didnt know that much about Canada (sorry). I did know about the
    language difference though :o
    How do the Asian people get into Canada? Legally I assume/hope.
    We also have a lot of east Indians. I used to work for a Indian vet. He
    was so funny! Also had an ashram at his house and into the metaphysical.
    One day I had to try to placate the clients and make excueses for his not
    being on time and he was back in the back chanting trying to bring a spirit
    into a bowl :rolleyes: He could be heard out front :eek:
    Anyway, Ill probably never get to Canada...I am a southerner and pretty
    much a home body. Hope you can still visit the US since you enjoyed it
    so much.
    I wish the southern border required passports too :rolleyes:

  16. #16
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    Re: Hundreds of polish immigrant tomato pickers disappear in southern Italy

    Goodwitch - The first chinese immigrants built the "Great Canadian Railway" - traintracks across the country. WWII -we imprisoned the japanese immigrants ..yep the nice canadians (as did our cousins to the south)...in prison camps "inland" - what did the japanese do? They turned a desert in southern alberta into a garden. Their expertise in irrigation changed the methods of farming. Have you ever heard the term Bo-hunk (ugly, I know), squarehead, chink, nip, Jap, wetback,......
    I believe most of us are just people trying to do our best - make a living - take care of our kids - live to see them grow up ....have a good life..without any war..........

    ps - if I had the choice, I would welcome anyone from Mexico or the Ukraine - hard working people wth little expectation. Just my experience.
    Last edited by linda49; 09-18-2006 at 08:11 AM.

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