Italian police raid illegal dormitory for migrants in south

ROSARNO, Italy – Police have raided an abandoned slaughterhouse in southern Italy which migrant farmworkers use as a dormitory.

The raid at dawn Monday near Rosarno, Calabria, was launched after migrants, all with residency permits or proper asylum paperwork, told authorities that two fellow Africans forced them to pay 30 euros ($33) monthly to sleep in there, often on the floor. Thirty migrants sleep in the ex-slaughterhouse. Police questioned some migrants.

Police also inspected 10 farm businesses, issuing 13 summonses for hiring workers without contracts and other labour law violations.

They inspected conditions at an orange grove, where most of the fruit-pickers are from Bulgaria.

A recent report based on union-compiled data estimates 400,000 farm workers in Italy are exploited by gang masters. About 80 per cent of the poorly paid crop-pickers are foreigners.