The work permit for migrant workers in Italy

The coalition government of Italy has approved to give 6-months temporary work papers to migrants to save Italian harvest. The four coalition parties agreed on the new decree on May 13, after weeks of negotiations. This deal has been pushed by Italian agriculture associations that intend to fill the gap left by thousands of seasonal labourers due to the recent travel restrictions.

Some migrant workers from the agriculture sector, represented by Lavoro Agricolo Union, organized a strike on May 21, to protest against the decree. They criticize that the changes were approved for the financial benefit rather than their human rights. The work permit will be valid only for six months. If at the end of that period the workers would get a contract, they would be able to apply for a longer-term work permit.

Some European countries have approved different measures to fill the lack of seasonal workers amidst the pandemic, such as the German government, that recently allowed farmers to pay charter flights for migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria on their harvest in April and May.