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Pakistanis receive 2.5 euro cents per kilogram of picked oranges

11 July 2014 / 12:07:53  GRReporter
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A recent series of police raids in the shelters of Pakistani workers in the town of Skala, Laconia region, who are working as orange pickers, seem to be the main reason for their five-day strike and protest march. They also inform about racist behaviour on the part of the local authorities and want better treatment. As claimed by representatives of the Pakistani workers contacted by Kathimerini newspaper, they are discriminated against in terms of matters of everyday life, they do not have access to adequate housing and they are chased away from the square and other public places such as beaches. In response to their demands, Ioannis Grypiotis, mayor of Evrotas, who is mentioned by the protesters as a participant in such actions, rejected the accusations, pointing out that he had insisted, for a long time, on resolving the issue of the legal residence of the workers and that the incidents in question related to disputes between the immigrants and workers of other nationalities. He also stated that there is a feeling of uncertainty in the region due to the emergence of large numbers of immigrants.

According to the local authorities and the immigrants themselves, between 700 and 1,000 Pakistanis are working as orange pickers in the region. They receive 37 euro cents per crate of picked oranges, or 2.5 euro cents per kilogram. According to them, the money they earn per day is about 15-20 euro, depending on the experience of the worker. The majority of them usually save the money to help their families in Pakistan. Their living and working conditions do not seem different from those of their fellow workers in the strawberry plantations in Nea Manolada.

Despite the bloody incident that happened there in April 2013, when the guards of the strawberry plantation opened fire against Pakistanis and injured dozens of workers, it seems that the situation has not improved, neither in Nea Manolada nor in other places where foreign workers are employed in agriculture.

Tags: PakistanisImmigrantsRacist attitudePolice raidsProtestsStrike
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