40,000 non eu seasonal workers can work in italy
Italy has passed legislation for, a quota of 40,000, non-EU seasonal workers to work in its agricultural and tourism sectors. This law comes just in time for the start of Italy’s apple and grape harvest seasons.
Italy’s new law reflects a tight global labor market because of demographic and other issues. Many countries are seeking to relax entry requirements for foreign workers in an effort to allow easier entry for work.
Coldiretti, the Italian farmers’ association, applauded the government. It said foreign workers employed in agriculture mostly hail from Romania, Morocco, India, and Albania almost all nationalities are represented. IDOS, a research center, says in Italy one agricultural product in four is harvested by foreign hands with 358,000 regular workers coming from 164 different countries who are employed in fields and barns, providing more than 30 percent of the total work days necessary for the sector.
Moreover, reports show that in Abruzzo, one-third of farmworkers are foreigners, working in more precarious conditions. Coldiretti said in 2022 that 358,000 workers from 164 countries are employed in agriculture in Italy, meaning that foreigners make up about 29 percent of workers in the sector. It highlighted that immigrant workers are part of the social and economic fabric, harvesting strawberries, grapes, and apples.
Italy is also plagued with exploitation of migrant workers in the agricultural sector. According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics, agriculture is the sector with the highest rate of irregularity of employment. The sector is riddled with violations of minimum wage requirements, inhumane working conditions, and violence among other issues.
Experts have recommended a comprehensive approach, as the system of workers’ exploitation involves not only their working conditions, but also their recruitment and living conditions. Most of the problems in Italy’s agricultural sector is because of high demand for short-term and flexible labor, lack of official recruitment services, and the geographical isolation of workplaces.