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  • Sutay Darboe, 42, from Senegal holds tomatoes in a field of tomato plants, near Foggia, Italy August 7, 2018.

    Sutay Darboe, 42, from Senegal holds tomatoes in a field of tomato plants, near Foggia, Italy August 7, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 July 2019

"This is a fight in the memory of all the workers who died in the agricultural supply chain and demand residency licenses so we can get out of the invisibility that was imposed on us," said a union leader.

About 60 rural workers occupied the Basilic San Nicola di Bari on Tuesday morning demanding labor rights, coming from cities of the Foggia province. such as , San Severo, Manfredonia, Cerignola, Lucera.

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"Pope Francis says that work gives human beings  sense of dignity," said union leader Aboubakar Soumahoro, "but our work has no dignity and no rights." "For this reason, we decided to fight for the conquest of labor rights, housing and security at the work place."

They met with Archibishop Francesco Cacucci, reporting how they are under false contracts and paid about US$25-30 per day. Cacucci promised he will mediate the conflict with local authorities.

Most of the rural workers live in the shanty town of Borgo Mezzanone, in the suburb of Foggia. It still houses about 3,000 immigrants despite several attempts launched since February to bulldoze all the illegal constructions.

Last Friday in Paris, about a thousands of migrants and asylum seekers lauched a similar action, occupying the historical monument Pantheon to demand talks with the prime minister on legalizing their undocumented status, activists said.

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