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Italy: Roundtable with trade unionists

Italy: Roundtable with trade unionists

Adl-Cobas Rimini and the Association Rumori Sinistri proposed to the LABCIT partner to cooperate with the goal to create a transnational network with Romanian NGOs aimed at 1. spreading information on labour rights in Italy among Romanian workers who live in Romania and want to migrate to Italy to work in the hospitality industry, and 2. supporting returnees who want to claim their rights through legal action. .

Partner: University of Padova

Location: Casa Madiba, Rimini

Date: 15/07/2016

Number of Participants: 18

A special roundtable was conducted with the members of the two grassroots organizations that participated in University of Padova’s public hearing held in October 2015 (https://migrationonline.cz/en/e-library/italy-exploitation-in-the-hospitality-industry-and-the-logistics-sector). These include the trade union Adl-Cobas Rimini and the Association Rumori Sinistri. Both unions are active in defending the labour rights of workers employed in the hospitality industry.

The meeting started with a presentation of a summer campaign against the exploitation of hospitality industry workers promoted by both organizations. Francesca Alice Vianello presented the general results of the LABCIT project and its local recommendations, and the short film “Warehouse Workers: Exploitation and Struggles in the Italian Logistics Sector” was screened.


The meeting concluded with a very constructive discussion concerning the future of labour citizenship for migrant workers both as EU citizens and Third Country Nationals in relation to the political challenges facing the EU. In particular, we discussed the different legal statuses and material conditions of migrants who live in Italy, such as EU mobile workers, Non-EU migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. All of them, besides their status, actually work in Italy but are differentiated from the legal point of view and this has an impact on their labour rights and conditions. We agree on the fact that in order to improve their labour conditions it is crucial to go beyond legal differences. However, a crucial point is the issue of the freedom of mobility today, because the political challenges that EU is facing, such as Brexit and the restrictive policies emerging as a reaction to refugees crisis, are undermining this fundamental human right.

Furthermore, the discussion dealt with the relation between migrants’ political and union experiences in their country of origin and their capacity to defend their labour rights in Italy. Francesca Alice Vianello, drawing from her studies on Eastern European migrations, underlined in particular the importance of the development of a new vocabulary aimed at involving and raising awareness among Eastern European migrants.

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