Skip to Content

Italians arrested after they pay workers according to skin colour

Italian police arrested two men in Calabria, southern Italy, who had invented an apartheid system to compensate labour.

Published: September 24, 2017, 9:21 am

    The pair were taken into custody over claims that they had paid their farm labour according to their skin colour. The two brothers face charges of labour exploitation aggravated by racial discrimination.

    The farm owners hired immigrants to work illegally on their farm in Amantea in Cosenza province, according to investigators.

    Some five to eight people would be contracted to work on the farm daily, mostly migrants from Africa, India, and Romania, all of whom were paid wages lower than the legally required rate.

    While workers with white skins were paid €35 per day, the black farm workers received only $25.

    Investigators also accused the pair of subjecting the workers to degrading conditions, including sleeping in huts without tables and chairs to take their meals. They maintain that the workers were regularly threatened by the two brothers.

    Police have confiscated the brother’s assets of approximately €2 million. The pair aged 41 and 48 have been placed under house arrest.

    A daily rate of around €30 for a 10-12 hour day in wages paid was reportedly the norm. It is less than half the legal minimum set in Italy. In reality, many workers frequently earn less because labour brokers charge them for transport.

    Under the so-called caporalato system, fruit pickers and other seasonal workers are typically recruited, organised and paid by an intermediary, a labour broker, enabling the actual employers to avoid paying payroll taxes.

    Last autumn, the Italian parliament introduced a law cracking down on agricultural concerns exploiting migrant workers – a widespread problem in the southern parts of the country they say. Activists have pushed for stricter regulation of the sector following the death of Paola Clemente, a 49-year-old farm labourer. She collapsed from apparent exhaustion and later died while working in a vineyard near Andria in Puglia.

    Trade unions said at the time that 430 000 agricultural workers were subject to extreme exploitation across the country, due to the recent mass arrivals of migrants.

    Italy’s Agricultural Minister Maurizio Martina condemned the brothers and said their imposed apartheid was “intolerable in every respect”. She added that Friday’s arrests proved the necessity of a law passed last year to limit the exploitation of farm workers, who are often immigrants.

    “Cases such as this once again demonstrate how necessary our law is in order to protect the dignity and rights of workers,” said Martina.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    World Cup is destroying UK’s anti-Russian propaganda

    The World Cup in Russia is turning out to be a stunning success and a PR disaster for Britain's anti-Russian cohorts. Even BBC sports journalists and pundits are ignoring propaganda narratives and going off-message to enthuse about everything Russian, especially the welcome they are receiving.

    Migrant accused of teen’s murder boasted about everything being free

    Ali B, the alleged murderer of a German teen, as well as his family raved to relatives back in Iraq that they would not have to work and that they would be given free money by the state.

    Matteo Salvini. Photo:

    Salvini calls for Roma census as top Vatican official heads for Bilderberg

    Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Monday announced the intention of holding a special census of Roma people in Italy with the intention of closing all illegal Roma camps in the country.

    Head of German job centre caught rioting with extremists

    WuppertalThe German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is already well-stocked with leftists. But the chief of an urban job center has taken his ideology to the next level.

    Salvini blocks two more NGO vessels from entering Italian ports

    RomeOn Saturday Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini warned that another two migrant rescue vessels arriving from the Libyan coast would not be allowed to dock with their "human cargo" at an Italian port.

    Dutch teens are drinking themselves into a coma

    Dutch teenagers drinking themselves to the point of needing to be hospitalised rose again last year, the NRC said on Friday.

    Almost half of Syrian migrants suffer from mental illness Dutch study shows

    More than 40 percent of Syrian asylum applicants in the Netherlands have psychological problems like depression and anxiety or worse, according to a study by the Dutch social and cultural planning office SCP.

    Counter-terrorism gives green light to Wilders’ Mohammad cartoon contest

    Dutch PVV leader Geert Wilders has been given the green light to organise a Mohammed cartoon competition in the Dutch House of Representatives.

    Another teenage girl stabbed to death in Germany

    A Turkish migrant has turned himself in to German police, after the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old girl in the German town of Viersen, near Düsseldorf.

    NATO announces expansion as trade war with EU hots up

    NATO unveiled new plans during a two-day meeting of its defence ministers in Brussels, ahead of a NATO summit to be attended by US President Donald Trump as the trade war between former allies grows hotter.

    Go to archive