Saturday, March 21, 2009

Poles exploited in Sicily?

The Polish Embassy in Sicily has been informed of another case of Polish workers being exploited by ruthless employers.

Gerard Pokruszynski at the consulate told the PAP news agency that four Polish citizens had escaped a place they called “labour camp,” asking him for help.

According to preliminary findings by the Embassy, around 200 Poles had been lured to Sicily by an advertisement published in a newspaper. After 3 months, it turned out that the workers had yet to receive any money for work performed.

The complaint by the Poles comes on the heal of several other incidences of exploitative practices by Italian employers.

In 2005. a 116 strong workforce was enrolled in Poland and transported to Italy, where workers were charged for the trip and deprived of all their money and passports. The Poles were forced to work long hours - 5 am to 10 pm - without any breaks and had to live under dreadful conditions. They had no running water, electricity and were given no food except for water and bread.

In 2006, Polish police launched a special operation, code named “Promised Land” (Ziemia Obiecana) – which infiltrated and shut down the organized gang responsible.